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JohnGospel of John

Lorin Friesen, June 2017

This essay is a verse-by-verse description of the Gospel of John. It examines the text in detail, looks at the original Greek, and discusses the underlying symbolism, using the same symbology that was used to analyze the Revelation of John. This essay presents a cognitive theory of Christology, based upon the concept that Jesus is the Word made flesh, who descended from God.

Due to the length of this essay, I have split it up into four parts. This part looks at John 13-18. The first part examines John 1-6. The second part examines John 7-12 The fourth part examines John 18-21. I have also included a table of contents.

All scriptural references are taken from the NASB.

Table of Contents

John 1-6

John 7-12

13:1 Passover

13:2-3 Problem of Judas

13:4-5 Foot-washing

13:6-11 Peter’s Response

13:12-20 Teacher Status

13:21-32 Who will Betray Jesus?

13:33-35 Absolute to Universal Truth

13:36-38 Peter’s Denial

14:1-4 Dwelling Places

14:5-7 Thomas

14:8-11 Philip

14:12-14 Doing Greater Works

14:15-17 Spirit of Truth

14:18-20 Not Left as Orphans

14:21-23 Theoretical Return of Jesus

14:24-31 Spiritual Technology

15:1-11 The Vine

15:12-17 Love One Another

15:18-19 Hated by the World

15:20-27 Persecuted by the World

16:1-4 Excommunication

16:5-11 Culture of Spiritual Technology

16:12-15 Expanded Concept of Incarnation

16:16-17 Spiritual Birth

Cosmology The Big Picture

16:18-24 Paradigm Shift

16:25-28 Allegory of Reality

16:29-33 Cosmic Culture Shock

17:1-10 Authority over Flesh

Creation The World

17:11-12 Incarnation Transcends the World

17:13-17 Disciples Transcend the World

17:18-21 Fractal Plan of Incarnation

17:22-26 Multi-faceted Glory


18:1 Crossing the Kidron

18:2-4 Judas enters the Garden

18:5-6 Rise of Scholasticism

18:7-11 Birth of Science

18:12-14 Objective Science

18:15-18 Peter’s First Denial

18:19-24 Technical Thought and the Bible

18:25-27 Peter’s Second and Third Denials

John 18-21


Daniel 9 predicts that the Messiah will achieve the following results: “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place” (Daniel 9:24).

As I pointed out at the beginning of the essay on the Gospel of John, Jesus only fulfilled one of these predictions, which was atonement for iniquity. A simple observation of society makes it clear that transgression has not been finished, sin has not come to an end, everlasting righteousness has not been brought in, vision and prophecy have not been sealed up, and the most holy place has not been anointed. My hypothesis is that the lack of a scientific mindset prevented Jesus from achieving the other results. Jews and Greeks were supposed to discover science in Alexandria before the time of Christ, but this did not happen. Atonement deals with the problem of guilt that results from committing sins. The other results deal with the problem of sin at a more fundamental level, by eliminating the mindset that creates sin and replacing it with a new mindset. On the negative side, transgression is finished and sin comes to an end. On the positive side everlasting righteousness is brought in. Cognitively speaking, this type of transition occurs when society ceases to be guided by childish MMNs and instead becomes ruled by the TMN of a concept of God. In the objective realm, this transition has occurred because science and technology are now guided by the TMN of a universal understanding of the laws of nature. If science had come into existence in Alexandria, then Incarnation could have extended this objective transition to include God and the subjective.

Daniel also says that vision and prophecy will be sealed up and a holy place anointed. In other words, predicting and imagining what God will do will result in a new culture that expresses the character of God. In the same way that science has resulted in a new technological society, so the emergence of everlasting righteousness will lead to a new society that expresses the character of God in a concrete manner, just as technology expresses science in a concrete manner.

Jesus did only what he saw the Father doing. Therefore, it was imperative for the plan of incarnation to be carried out fully by Jesus. But Jesus could not complete the plan because humanity was incapable of thinking scientifically. Therefore, I suggest that John 1-12 describes the portion of the plan that Jesus was able to perform physically through some combination of action and parable. John 13-17 describes the portion of the plan that Jesus was not able to carry out. Instead, this part of the plan was spoken to the disciples and then recorded in the Gospel of John.

What Jesus verbally describes in John 13-17 will eventually be carried out in the book of Revelation. Revelation 5-9 begins with the lamb being regarded as the only one who is worthy to open the book of knowledge. Cognitively speaking, I suggest that these chapters describe how society progresses when the technical thinking of incarnation is regarded as the only valid form of thought. Thus, I suggest that Revelation 5-9 describes the growth of objective science and technology. This is the type of society that should have existed before the coming of Jesus—but did not. This sets the stage for Revelation 10-21 where the remaining predictions of Daniel 9:24 will be achieved.

Mental symmetry suggests that the process of personal transformation can be divided into the three stages of constructing a mental concept of God in Teacher thought, becoming righteous by allowing the TMN of a concept of God to guide Server actions, and allowing MMNs of personal identity to become reborn by living personally within this system of righteousness.

One can see these three stages in John 13-17:

1) The stage is set for constructing a concept of God by washing the disciples’ feet and getting Judas to leave. Building an understanding of God has to contend with the denials of Peter as well as the questions of Thomas and Philip. This culminates in what I call the theoretical return of Jesus.

2) This is followed by the righteousness of ‘spiritual technology’ in which God the Father and Incarnation reveal themselves to the disciples and not to the world. This leads to the wine of a new culture based in Incarnation as ‘the vine’ and God the Father as ‘the vinedresser’. This new culture results in a backlash of hatred from the world.

3) Righteousness leads eventually to rebirth, as Incarnation departs ‘for a little while’ and returns in order to bring to birth a new existence guided by the Holy Spirit. This is followed by an unveiling of ultimate reality. The ‘high priestly prayer’ describes this new existence gradually conquering the world.

John 13-17 is similar to what is happening in the book of Revelation. Revelation 10-22 can be divided into the following steps:

1) An understanding of God and Incarnation is developed in Revelation 10 that bridges objective and subjective.

2) This new understanding of God is proclaimed in Revelation 11. It is temporarily defeated, but ends in the theoretical return of Jesus.

3) Satan is cast down from heaven through the birth of a new godly culture in Revelation 12.

4) This leads to a backlash in Revelation 13 from the dragon and the two beasts.

5) The seed of a new civilization comes to birth in Revelation 14.

6) The existing incomplete civilization is judged in Revelation 15-18.

7) A new civilization emerges in Revelation 20 during the millennium.

8) This is followed by the ultimate reality of a new heaven and earth in Revelation 21.

Before we continue I need to mention a point about grammar. All of the biblical quotes are taken from the NASB, which capitalizes both the names of God and pronouns referring to God. I know that this feels respectful, but it also tends to convey the mystical idea that God is a transcendent being who is utterly different than humanity. It is true that God is an infinite, eternal Being, while humans are finite and created. But the Bible also states that humans are created in the image of God. And one can say with considerable confidence that the theory of mental symmetry leads to a concept of a Trinitarian God that is consistent in detail with the God described in the Bible. Thus, my goal is to convey the concept that, on the one hand, God is holy and worthy of being called God, but on the other hand, the character of God is comprehensible by humanity and it is possible for humans to become friends of God. Thus, I will be capitalizing the names of God but not necessarily pronouns that refer to God. This intermediate approach becomes tricky when dealing with the word ‘incarnation’. Should it be capitalized or not? I will be capitalizing the word Incarnation when referring either to the second person of the Trinity, or to a mental concept of the second person of the Trinity. But I will be putting the word incarnation in lower case when talking about the idea of incarnation, or a mindset that is guided by the idea of incarnation. This distinction is not always obvious, because it appears that the real Incarnation inhabits and enables mental concepts of incarnation. Therefore, my capitalization of incarnation will at times seem somewhat arbitrary. However, this may itself help to reinforce the idea that there is an interplay between one’s concept of God and the actions of a real God. (In later essays, I have given up trying to distinguish between these two and leave the word incarnation uncapitalized.)


The theme of John 1–12 has been Jesus descending from God to man. Chapter 13 opens by describing a new direction: “Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end” (v.1).

Notice that the direction has changed. Jesus finished descending to man when his Mercy emotions became engaged during the raising of Lazarus. When the Platonic forms of Jesus connected with the Platonic forms of Mary, then Jesus the God-man had experienced what it meant to be a specific human being as fully as is possible for a sinless, universal being.

It is now time to return to God, which involves two related factors. First, Jesus will return from specific Mercy experiences to general Teacher understanding. In the words of John, Jesus will go ‘to the Father’. Second, Jesus will acquire Teacher generality by leaving the physical realm. In John’s words, Jesus will ‘depart out of this world’. When Jesus was descending from God to man, the primary goal was for Jesus to carry out the plan of the Father personally as an individual human being. The response of others to the message of Jesus was secondary. Jesus wanted others to believe and understand his message, but even if they did not, He was still determined to do only what the Father was doing, no matter what happened. Now that Jesus is departing this world, everything will have to occur through others because Jesus will no longer be physically present. Instead, Jesus will achieve Teacher generality by governing invisibly through the mind and actions of others.

As many theologians have pointed out, chapters 13-17 contains verbal instructions given to the disciples of Jesus. The goal of these instructions is to help his followers to reach Jesus’ end goal of bringing Teacher order-within-complexity to Incarnation. Using the words of John, because Jesus is ‘departing out of this world to the Father’, he is loving his followers to the telos—the ‘end goal or purpose’.

Passover 13:1

John says that this discussion happens ‘before the feast of the Passover’. It is interesting that the word translated depart in verse 1 means ‘to pass over, withdraw, depart’. The Passover was originally given its name because the angel of death passed over any house on which the doorway was marked with the blood of a sacrificial lamb. As Exodus 12:13 says, “The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.” Christian theology emphasizes the relationship between the blood of the Passover lamb protecting the Jews from the judgment of God and the blood of Jesus protecting believers from the judgment of God.

But Exodus 12:11 points out another aspect to the Passover that is not normally emphasized: “Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the Lord’s Passover.” What is being conveyed is the concept of Passover as a withdrawing or departing from the world of Egypt, because the Jews are being instructed to eat the Passover with the attitude of being ready to start a journey. Applying the blood to the door posts and lintel of the houses also suggests that personal identity is about to leave its current home, because a person leaves a house through the doorway.

Applying this to evangelical Christian theology, the first aspect of Passover as an atonement for sin is commonly emphasized, but the second aspect of Passover as a transition for personal identity tends to be glossed over. Instead, the tendency in evangelical Christian circles has been to regard ‘asking Jesus in your heart’ as the primary goal. For instance, many evangelical churches used to have an altar call every Sunday, inviting people to ‘pray the sinner’s prayer’, while the rest of the congregation typically sings all five verses of Just as I Am solemnly and reverently. (This is far less common than it used to be.) However, Passover also contains the second aspect of starting on a journey. As Exodus 12 says, one is supposed to eat the Passover ‘with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet’. Similarly, John 13 also opens with Jesus about to start on a journey: “knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father” (v.1).

Using an analogy, I suggest that the atonement of Passover is like becoming enrolled in God’s school of personal transformation. One is making a transition from being apart from God to being submitted to God; one is enrolling in a school. But enrollment is the first step in a long process of learning and passing tests. Similarly, I suggest that ‘asking Jesus into your heart’ is merely the first step in a long process of learning and passing tests in God’s school of personal transformation.

When analyzing John 1-12, it was possible to find a partial illustration of the path of incarnation in science and technology. I have mentioned several times that incarnation includes the technical thinking that is used by science and technology but goes beyond it. Science tends to specialize into specific technical disciplines, while incarnation recognizes that all specializations are an expression of a universal Teacher understanding of God. Science tries to avoid subjective emotions by remaining objective, while incarnation uses technical thought to save personal identity.

John 13 begins by emphasizing how incarnation goes beyond science: “Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end” (v.1). Instead of remaining within technical specialization, Jesus is about to return to the Father in Teacher thought. And instead of remaining objective, Jesus is going to love his followers to the end. Thus, John 13-17 can be summarized as Incarnation being guided by Teacher thought to create paradise for humanity. This means that one can find a partial illustration of John 13 to 17 in the modern consumer society. Consumerism uses science and technology to create a physical paradise of new-and-improved gadgets and labor-saving devices. Incarnation goes beyond the consumer society by creating a personal paradise in which transformed people live within a transformed environment. In contrast, consumerism transforms the environment while leaving people unchanged. Pentecostalism illustrates what happens if one attempts to apply consumerism to Christianity without having a general Teacher understanding.

The Problem of Judas 13:2-3

If one wishes to transform people as well as the environment, then the first problem is getting rid of Judas. This problem is described in verse 2: “During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him.” Looking at these names, devil means ‘to slander or accuse’, Judas means ‘praise’, Iscariot probably means ‘man of a city’, while Simon means ‘to hear’. Putting this together, the focus is upon giving and receiving praise from people, which indicates a mind that is motivated by MMNs of personal identity. This is combined with male thought that emphasizes technical thinking in a cosmopolitan, impersonal manner. The basis for this thinking is words that are acquired from other individuals. This describes the typical mindset of academia. Teacher content is acquired from experts, and this verbal content is manipulated in a technical manner and exchanged with other experts in order to gain personal approval by building understanding.

John says that the devil has already put into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus. Examining this cognitively, using technical thought within some paradigm will cause an implicit TMN to form, and this TMN will emotionally drive the expert to think in a manner that meets accepted standards and to emotionally belittle any form of thought that does not meet these accepted standards. When such an expert encounters non-rigorous thought, the typical response will not be to point out logical or factual errors but rather to denounce the offending individual in personal terms: ‘You do not know how to think’, ‘You are not playing by the rules’, ‘You are a loser’, ‘I do not want to interact with you’. In other words, slander will enter the heart of the academic expert, motivating that individual to ‘hand over, betray, or abandon’ the offending person.

I am not suggesting that every academic is a Judas. Instead, I am pointing out that objective thought that tries to avoid Mercy emotions and specialized thought that tries to avoid Teacher emotions will create an emotional vacuum, and that emotional vacuum will naturally be filled by inferior emotions. On the abstract side, specialization will turn into a Teacher theory that will defend itself emotionally. When the specialist encounters something outside of his specialization, the natural response will not be ‘I am not qualified to examine what you are doing’, but rather ‘What you are doing is not important’. On the concrete side, objective thought will turn into one-upmanship, in which one tries to add emotional status to MMNs of personal identity by being a better expert than one’s colleagues.

This type of thinking will naturally look down upon incarnation. When incarnation talks about God in Teacher thought, the technical expert will find this juvenile, because abstract theory is being anthropomorphized. For instance, it is fine to talk about Nature performing some function, but one must never treat Nature as an actual, living person. One may use technical thought to analyze how others anthropomorphize abstract theories, but one must not be caught committing this ‘offense’ oneself. When incarnation raises issues of personal identity, the technical expert will find this embarrassing, because it brings to mind childish mental networks that the technical expert is trying to suppress. For instance, even though personal status plays a major role in academia, seeking personal status is usually made more respectable by covering it with a veneer of pursuing academic research. When incarnation pursues independent thought without submitting to acknowledged experts, the technical expert will regard this as ignorant. For instance, even though the official goal of research is to acquire understanding, describing understanding without acknowledging one’s sources is regarded as a major faux pas. Finally, when incarnation refuses to play the game of personal one-upmanship, then the technical expert will regard this as being a loser. For instance, anyone who comes up with a new theory is expected to publish this theory in order to gain academic approval.

I am not suggesting that one should ignore technical expertise. Instead, I am pointing out that technical expertise is not enough. This principle is obvious when dealing with music. The technical expert may play all the correct notes—and it is important to play the notes correctly, but notes turn into music when one goes beyond technical thought by adding Teacher and Mercy feelings.

Jesus was betrayed by a person called Judas, and it is possible that Judas was not driven by all the motivations that we have just described. However, if Jesus had come to a society that had discovered science, then Jesus still would have been betrayed by a mindset of Judas resulting from the pursuit of objective, specialized, scientific thought. That is because this is the kind of scientific thinking that emerges before Passover. When there is no adequate method of atonement, then the only option is to hide from God in Teacher thought and avoid personal identity in Mercy thought. This type of scientific thought has become dominant today, and it also would have been dominant if science had emerged in Alexandria before the time of Christ, because the death and resurrection of Jesus introduced an adequate method of atonement. When Christianity became separated from Judaism, then another problem arose. Christianity taught an adequate method of atonement, but this was viewed as personal faith rather than being rooted in the Jewish mindset of God acting within creation. Thus, most scientific thought has developed without a concept of atonement, because personal faith is viewed as distinct from natural process.

Again, I am not suggesting that every scientist is a Judas. However, based upon personal experience, I have come to the conclusion that a technical specialization will naturally become policed by a mindset of Judas, supported by academic individuals who are Judases, and these individuals will ensure that those who attempt to go beyond technical specialization to following incarnation will be ignored, set aside, excluded, or ostracized.

Foot-washing 13:4-5

Therefore, if incarnation is to redeem technical understanding, then the mindset of Judas must be eliminated. Jesus gets rid of Judas by washing the disciples’ feet. One can tell from the pronouns that John 13:1-6 is one connected sequence. The name Jesus is mentioned in verse 1. The next time the name Jesus is mentioned is in verse 7. From verses 1-6, the pronouns ‘he’ and ‘him’ are used to refer back to the name Jesus mentioned in verse 1. (The NASB adds the name Jesus in verse 3 to clarify who the pronoun refers to, but this is not in the original Greek.)

Looking at the story literally, a Judas who is seeking personal praise would find the idea of an esteemed Rabbi performing the task of a servant to be repulsive. Stated bluntly, academic experts do not wash people’s feet. Foot-washing ceremonies are still performed today in some churches as an example of personal humility. Someone who is seeking personal status would find it even more repulsive if the esteemed leader set up personal humility as an example to follow, which Jesus does explicitly later on in the chapter: “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (v.13-15).

If one looks more closely the story, one notices that Jesus does the foot-washing at the wrong time. The normal practice was for a servant to wash the dirty feet of guests before supper, when they first arrived at the house. That is what common sense dictates. Jesus, in contrast, waits until after supper to wash his disciples’ feet, guided by Teacher understanding: “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself” (v.3-4).

This wrong timing makes sense if one interprets the passage symbolically. Bread represents intellectual food, or more specifically, packages of abstract understanding. Physical washing is done before the meal, because humans live in a physical world with physical matter that can contaminate houses and food. Cognitive washing is done after the meal, because intellectual bread provides the internal content that makes it possible to re-evaluate emotional Mercy experiences. One cognitively washes Mercy thought by re-thinking emotional experiences in the light of rational understanding.

This same cleansing sequence can be seen in the passage on Eucharist in 1 Corinthians 11: “The Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me’” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25). Jesus takes bread, indicating that one is dealing with intellectual food. Jesus then gives thanks, recognizing that this food is based in the TMN of a concept of God. Jesus then breaks the bread, indicating that intellectual food has to be chewed and digested in bite-sized chunks. The cup is only taken ‘after supper’. Liquid represents the realm of Mercy experiences. Taking the liquid after supper shows us that the intellectual meal sets the context for dealing with Mercy experiences. Bread is mentioned in 1 Corinthians, but not wine. Instead, Paul talks about partaking of the cup, and a cup represents some set of experiences in Mercy thought. Paul explicitly says that one is dealing with a new set of personal Mercy experiences that are guided by a new relationship with incarnation, because Paul describes the cup as ‘the new covenant in my blood’. Finally, Paul says that one should take the cup ‘in like manner, likewise, in the same way’ as the bread has been eaten, telling us that one should deal with Mercy experiences by following the pattern set by intellectual thought.

Summarizing, cognitive washing starts with intellectual understanding, and then washes Mercy thought by using understanding as a pattern for dealing with emotional experiences. Saying this another way, one rethinks emotional experiences in the light of rational understanding. Jesus describes cognitive washing in John 15:3: “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”

Peter, one of the main participants in the foot-washing story, defines cognitive washing in one of his epistles. Talking about Noah and the ark, he says that: “eight persons, were brought safely through the water. Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven” (1 Peter 3:20-22). The word translated corresponding is antitypos, which means ‘typical of, representing by type or pattern’, telling us that Peter is referring here to symbolism. What matters is not removing physical dirt from the flesh with physical water, but rather appealing to God for a good conscience, which means allowing an understanding of God to apply to personal identity, because conscience takes truth and applies it to me as a person. Notice that the context is Jesus leaving the physical realm and returning to God, which is also the context of John 15.

John 13 describes the preparation for washing the disciples’ feet: “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself” (v.3-4). The mental context is Teacher understanding. A concept of God in Teacher thought is the source of experiences (‘He had come forth from God’), and experiences will eventually be held together by Teacher understanding (‘He was going back to God’). Saying this cognitively, one recognizes that the universe and the mind were initially created by a Universal Being who lives in Teacher thought, and one also recognizes that thought and behavior need to be guided by Teacher understanding.

Jesus rises from the supper, telling us that one stops acquiring new information. He then lays aside his garments. The word translated ‘garments’ refers to the outer garment and not to the undergarment. I have suggested that clothing represents MMNs of social interaction—the cloth of society by which one covers personal identity. Laying aside the outer garments implies that normal rules of etiquette are being set aside, in order to deal with personal issues that one would not normally describe in public. However, the undergarment is not taken off, implying that personal privacy is still being respected, and that one does not pry into personal details. In addition, the outer garment is replaced by a ‘towel, apron, coarse cloth’, implying that this personal interaction is being guided by rules of social convention that are specifically designed to help a person cleanse Mercy thought. Cognitively speaking, if one opens up completely and shares all intimate details, the result is not cognitive washing but rather emotional codependence and the possibility for blackmail.

Using the language of psychology, there should be interdependence rather than codependence. Codependence emerges when personal MMNs interact directly, causing people to try to control others, or attempt to find personal fulfillment in others. Interdependence requires individuality as well as respecting individuality. Interdependence becomes possible when personal MMNs exist within an internal grid of understanding. If I know, understand, and acknowledge what I am, then I can also acknowledge and understand what others are, because their existence does not threaten my identity. The result is meaningful sharing, guided by understanding, without delving into personal details.

Jesus then washes the disciples’ feet: “Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (v.5). I have suggested that feet represent either mental networks of identity, or Teacher and Mercy thought in general. That is because the body rests upon the feet, and feet are used to move a person from one location to another. Similarly, personal identity is internally defined by mental networks of identity, and Mercy and Teacher thought are used to change personal identity. Therefore, washing the feet would represent using the understanding that was gained during the meal to rethink mental networks of identity.

For example, when I analyze some book or theory, one of the things that I do is apply that theory to the researcher himself. Using the language of John, after having a meal of the researcher’s theory, I use this understanding to intellectually wash the feet of the researcher. The results are usually quite revealing, because the flaws in a system usually become apparent when one applies this system to itself or to the author. When one is studying the mind, then one is automatically applying a system to itself, because the mind is studying the mind. Therefore, the biases and skills of the researcher will affect the system, whether this is officially acknowledged or not. Thus, cognitive foot-washing is absolutely essential when one is trying to understand or transform the mind. And cognitive foot-washing is also an effective way of making Judas uncomfortable, because one is using the understanding of Judas to shine light upon the personal shortcomings of Judas.

Looking at the methodology of Jesus in more detail, he starts with some water in a basin. Pure water implies Mercy experiences without emotional content. Water in a basin suggests that experiences are being examined in a limited manner, focusing upon some specific context. This water of experience is then applied to the feet of personal identity. As we will see when looking at the response of Peter, this personal application may trigger an emotional response, but these emotions are being generated internally and not externally. This is an important distinction because the opposite is typically done: Emotions are drummed up through the environment, while the presentation is carefully crafted to ensure that personal identity does not feel ruffled or threatened. In contrast, cognitive washing examines personal identity in a clinical manner. One sees this combination in the typical medical examination. The physical settings may be quite austere, but personal emotions are being triggered as one’s physical body is being examined.

Finally, the feet are wiped dry with a towel. The word translated wipe means to ‘wipe off thoroughly, wipe dry’ and literally means to ‘knead out’. Again one sees the idea of the cup being drunk in ‘like manner’ to the bread being eaten, because the water is being wiped from the feet similarly to the way that bread is kneaded. As was mentioned before, using a towel implies that this process is being guided by cultural conventions. One can see this in the typical doctor’s examination. Even though being medically examined can be personally threatening, one still knows what to expect when entering a doctor’s office; one knows that a certain procedure will be followed. Wiping dry suggests that the entire process ends with solid information and not with liquid experience. Similarly, when a doctor’s appointment is finished, then what is ultimately remembered is the factual statements of the doctor and not the emotional intensity of the examination. This is quite different than the typical religious event, which attempts to have a lasting emotional impact, while typically being rather sparse with respect to content.

Peter’s Response 13:6-11

The next verses describe the response of Simon Peter: “So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, ‘Lord, do You wash my feet?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter’” (v.6-8). Simon means ‘listening’, and Peter means ‘rock’. It is clear from the gospels that Peter was a Perceiver person. The implication is that cognitive washing will have an impact upon Perceiver thought. The name Simon Peter tells us that solid truth (Peter) is being acquired from abstract Teacher words (Simon). This describes how Perceiver thought functions in abstract thought. However, Perceiver thought is vulnerable to Mercy emotions. If Mercy emotions are sufficiently strong, then Perceiver thought will become overwhelmed, leading to the absolute truth of fundamentalism. If Perceiver confidence is insufficient, then Perceiver thought will be unable to think clearly in the presence of Mercy emotions. (If Perceiver confidence is insufficient and Perceiver thought is not emotionally overwhelmed, then the result will be uncertainty.) Therefore, the natural tendency is to protect Perceiver thought by focusing upon abstract words while remaining distant from subjective experiences. Cognitive washing violates this separation by applying Perceiver facts to personal identity. Perceiver thought will respond initially with shock when facts are applied to identity: ‘Lord, do you wash my feet?’ The typical Perceiver person usually does not find it difficult to apply facts to the personal identities of others, because this does not trigger personal emotions. However, applying facts to my identity—washing my feet—is much harder because this will trigger personal emotions and these emotions will make it difficult for Perceiver thought to function. This is a general principle that applies to everyone, but it is especially apparent with the Perceiver person, because of the natural tendency to emphasize truth as well as the innate distaste for hypocrisy.

Jesus replies that Peter does not presently ‘see with physical eyes as it naturally bridges to mental seeing’, but he will ‘know through personal experience’. In other words, if one examines what Jesus is doing from the perspective of empirical evidence (seeing that leads to knowing), then applying truth to personal identity does not make sense, because this makes it more difficult for Perceiver thought to function. However, one will eventually learn from personal experience that applying truth to personal identity is essential for mental wholeness. That is because Perceiver facts provide stability to Mercy experiences. Stated symbolically, they place the liquid of Mercy experiences within solid containers. However, Perceiver thought can only provide stability to Mercy experiences to the extent that Perceiver facts have the confidence to handle emotional pressure.

Peter’s next response is to try to protect Perceiver thought from emotional attack: “Peter said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’” (v.8). In other words, Peter is determined to protect Perceiver thought by avoiding Mercy emotions. Going further, there is another reason for Peter telling Jesus not to wash his feet, which has to do with absolute truth. I have mentioned several times that a person will only continue to believe absolute truth if the source of truth has an emotional status that is much greater than the emotional status of personal identity. This means that absolute truth must be surrounded by walls of holiness that prevent the source of truth from being contaminated by contact with normal, secular existence. When Jesus washes the feet of personal identity, then this violates walls of holiness, and Perceiver thought is convinced that this will end up destroying belief in God and Incarnation. Thus, Peter is not just reacting against truth washing personal experiences, but he is trying to protect the absolute truth of God from being contaminated by the water of personal experience. Saying this another way, the Perceiver person who believes in absolute truth will think that protecting truth means honoring authority and preserving tradition. The solution is not to overthrow authority or violate tradition, but rather to place these two upon a higher basis, which Jesus will do in the next section.

Jesus replies to Peter by saying that applying truth to personal identity is required: “Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me’” (v.8). The word translated part means ‘part, portion, share’. Looking at this cognitively, the rules have changed. Absolute truth must be protected with walls of holiness that separate the emotional source of truth from emotions of personal identity. Incarnation, in contrast, improves personal identity guided by a sense of value. And value uses Perceiver facts to connect emotional Mercy experiences. In order to determine value, Perceiver thought must have sufficient confidence to factually compare one emotional experience with another. For instance, suppose that one is shopping for toothpaste. Different kinds of toothpaste have different properties, such as whitening teeth, strengthening enamel, avoiding cavities, or protecting gums. Concrete technical thought will examine these various properties in the light of personal need and then choose the best alternative. This type of comparing and choosing guided by value is only possible if truth is applied to personal identity. If truth remains separate from personal identity, then Perceiver thought will not be able to share, or have a portion in, the practical functioning of incarnation. Saying this more simply, Perceiver thought tends to view truth as something that needs to be preserved, like a precious artifact in a museum, while concrete technical thought thought views truth as a guide for living, which means taking the artifact out of the museum and using it in daily life.

This shifting of Perceiver thought can be seen in Peter’s vision of eating unclean animals which is described in Acts 10. Peter is praying and he gets hungry, illustrating the connection between God and intellectual food (Acts 10:9-10). Peter then sees a sheet filled with unclean animals and is told to ‘kill and eat’ (v.12-13). Interpreting this cognitively, Perceiver thought is being told by God to feed intellectually upon all information and not just focus upon religious truth. Peter responds, “by no means Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean” (v.14). In other words, Perceiver thought has acquired its absolute truth only from approved Mercy sources. The voice then responds, “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy” (v.15). Cognitively speaking, one is no longer dealing with absolute truth that is based in religious MMNs, but rather with universal truth that is based in the TMN of a concept of God. This vision is then followed by a Roman centurion asking Peter to come to his house, violating the strict wall of holiness separating religious Jewish existence from secular Gentile existence.

It is important to remember that the God who told Peter to ‘kill and eat’ is the same God who originally gave dietary laws to the Jews. This is not a case of God contradicting himself, but rather an example of cognitive development. God had to give the Jewish people an extensive set of regulations so that they would associate God with Server actions, making it possible for them to construct a Teacher understanding of God. Once this Teacher understanding becomes sufficiently developed, it then becomes possible to let go of the Server regulations. Using an analogy, scaffolding is required to an erect a building, but once the building has been constructed, then the scaffolding can be taken down.

Returning to John 14, Peter then responds by shifting his mental networks, while keeping his mode of thought intact: “Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head’” (v.9). In other words, Peter is assuming that Jesus is asking him to live full-time within religious experience, by becoming a monk, missionary, or clergy. This preserves the mental split between religious and secular while attempting to place all personal existence within the religious realm.

Jesus clarifies that this is not necessary: “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you” (v.10). In other words, a distinction needs to be made between bathing and washing feet. Cognitive bathing happens when personal identity submits to the TMN of a rational concept of God. As Jesus says in chapter 15, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (15:3). But it is still necessary to continue applying rational Teacher understanding to personal identity, in order to avoid—and recover from—the personal pain that naturally results from living in a mortal body within a fallen world. When rational understanding is applied, then this transforms one’s view of mortal existence. Instead of seeing it as something evil that is opposed to God, one views it as something incomplete that is being used by God to teach important lessons—to those who are willing to learn these lessons.

Using the language of Acts 10, Peter got hungry when he was praying and he was told to eat everything. But he was not told to drink everything. One must try to gain a universal understanding in Teacher thought because God is a universal being who ties everything together. But one must not try to experience everything in Mercy thought because humans are finite creatures who are helped by some experiences and harmed by other experiences. Incarnation uses a universal understanding of God in Teacher thought to save finite humans in Mercy thought, by leading them away from painful experiences and toward good experiences. Cognitive foot-washing makes this possible by examining personal identity in the light of the understanding of incarnation.

Jesus then points out that Judas is not clean: “For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean’” (v.11). Looking at this cognitively, cognitive washing will only work for a mind that is clean—a mind that is governed by the TMN of a rational concept of God. In contrast, we will see in a few verses that cognitive washing repels a mind that is governed by childish MMNs, because it shows up personal inadequacies.

Peter talks about being inadequately cleaned in the book of 2 Peter: “For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, ‘A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,’ and, ‘A sow, after washing, to wallowing in the mire’” (2 Peter 2:21-22). Peter says that these individuals have a Teacher understanding of God’s ways; they ‘have known the way of righteousness’; they have been washed. However, they choose not to allow this TMN of understanding to rule personal identity, but instead ‘turn away from the holy commandment’.

Teacher Status 13:12-20

Jesus then returns to the realm of abstract understanding: “So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’” (v.12). Symbolically speaking, he clothes himself again with the mental networks of cultural convention and then brings Teacher understanding to his Server actions: ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’ One sees here a miniature version of ‘coming forth from God and going back to God’. The starting point is being washed by the word of God. One then descends to the personal realm of applying understanding to mental networks of personal identity. Finally, one returns to Teacher thought in order to understand what has been done.

Jesus explains that one needs to regard personal status from the Teacher perspective of righteousness. The person who has greater status sets the example for those who have lesser status: “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (v.13-15). Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet because he was afraid that this would cause him to lose emotional respect for the source of absolute truth. This would happen literally if my exalted leader behaved as a servant by performing some menial tasks such as washing my feet, and it also happens symbolically if the walls between sacred and secular break down and absolute truth comes into mental contact with personal identity. Jesus does not question the idea of assigning emotional status to leaders. He says that his disciples are right in regarding him as their Lord and teacher. But he points out a new basis for emotional status, which is Teacher generality. A person who sets an example for others to follow achieves the emotional Teacher status of becoming an exemplar.

Jesus then generalizes the concept of Teacher status: “Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him” (v.16). The word translated ‘greater’ is mega, which means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’. This conveys the idea of bigness and vastness in Teacher thought rather than personal status in Mercy thought. A person who is a source of instructions, or the source of a message, has greater Teacher generality than a person who follows instructions or who conveys a message. These two statements summarize the relationship between God and Incarnation that we saw in John 1-12. God the Father has greater Teacher status because God sent Jesus from heaven to earth, and because Jesus was a ‘slave’ of the Father who did only what he saw the Father doing. Even though Jesus performed the menial task of washing his disciples’ feet, he has greater Teacher status because he is providing an example for his disciples to follow.

Jesus summarizes that knowing and practicing these things will lead to personal happiness: “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (v.17). The word translated blessed also has to do with Teacher generality, because it ‘describes a believer receiving God’s provisions which extend—make long, large—His grace’. Mercy status is restrictive for followers because personal feelings and desires have to be suppressed in order to submit to the desires of the leader, and it is also restrictive for leaders because they must behave in a manner that does not diminish their personal status. In contrast, Teacher status that is based in the righteousness of God is expansive, because both leaders and followers are encouraged to behave in a manner that is consistent with how God has designed creation to function.

And in the same way that God the Father was the source of truth for Jesus the Incarnation, so Jesus will now become the source of truth for his disciples: “From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am [He]” (v.19). The word ‘He’ is not in the original Greek, which means that Jesus is claiming to be ‘I am’—a reference to God. Notice that Jesus is using a Teacher reason for claiming to be God. If he is the source of truth for his disciples, then he has Teacher generality that applies to personal identity, which will cause a concept of God to emerge. Jesus explains in the next verse that he is treating this as a general principle: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (v.20). God sent Jesus, and now Jesus is sending his disciples. Those who receive his disciples are receiving Jesus, and those who receive Jesus are receiving God. This is an important principle. When truth is based in Mercy status, then the natural tendency is to feel that one is above the law when one becomes a source of truth for others. In contrast, Jesus remains submitted to God the Father even when he becomes a source of truth for others, because he sends his disciples the way that God the Father sent him. He is following a pattern in Teacher thought rather than becoming an important person in Mercy thought.

Jesus applies this principle to himself by viewing his coming betrayal as part of the instructions that come from God: “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me’” (v.18). This quote makes cognitive sense when interpreted symbolically. ‘Eating my bread’ means using abstract technical thought to gain Teacher understanding, the type of rational thinking that is emphasized by academia. Feet represent personal identity, and the heel is at the back of the foot. When the heel is being lifted up, then ‘eating my bread’ is indirectly causing MMNs of personal identity to be exalted, and this involuntary, emotional, secondary reaction of personal identity is turning a person against incarnation. Saying this more simply, incarnation goes beyond abstract technical thought to include personal implications. These personal implications will make personal identity feel bad, which will cause a person to try to protect the wounded feelings of personal identity by turning against incarnation.

Who will Betray Jesus? 13:21-32

Until now, Jesus has been talking calmly about his coming demise. But in verse 21 his spirit becomes troubled: “When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me’” (v.21). He has talked about being betrayed in impersonal terms. But now he describes it personally: ‘One of you will betray me’. We saw a similar transition in the raising of Lazarus where Jesus was also described as being troubled in spirit (11:33).

Looking at this cognitively, incarnation is based in Contributor thought, and Contributor thought ties together Perceiver facts with Server sequences. A mental concept of incarnation forms when abstract Contributor thought—which controls abstract technical thought, combines with concrete Contributor thought—which controls concrete technical thought. Because Contributor combines Perceiver and Server, there is a Perceiver side and a Server side to bridging these two aspects of technical thinking. The Perceiver side comes from Platonic forms, while the Server side comes from exemplars. A human being starts by developing concrete thought and then learns later about abstract thought. One can see this progression in Piaget’s stages of cognitive development.

In contrast, the Gospel of John describes Jesus as the sinless Incarnation of God, starting with abstract thought and then descending to concrete thought. In John 11, Jesus the Incarnation of God became troubled in spirit when his Platonic forms came into contact with the idealized dreams and losses of Mary. This is when Jesus cognitively connected with the Perceiver aspect of his human side. In verses 15-20, Jesus has just emphasized being an exemplar to his disciples, and verse 21 talks about Jesus becoming troubled in spirit. Like the previous situation, Jesus is interacting with his friends in a situation of loss. John 11:5 tells us that Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, while in John 13, Jesus is having an intimate discussion with his disciples. In John 11 Lazarus died, while in John 13 Judas is about to betray Jesus. In both cases, there is an emotional breakthrough. In John 11, the breakthrough occurs with Jesus, because he starts to emote. In John 13, the breakthrough occurs with Jesus’ disciples, because he gives them a new commandment to love one another (v.34).

Jesus is also described as being troubled in John 12:27. Some Greeks come to talk with Jesus, and Jesus responds by talking about death and resurrection. This also leads to a cognitive connection between Jesus-the-man and Jesus-the-God. On the abstract side, the domain of God’s kingdom is about to extend past the Jews to include the Gentiles. On the concrete side, the person of Jesus is about to go through death and resurrection. It is interesting that John 12 talks about the soul of Jesus being troubled, while both John 11 and 13 say that the spirit of Jesus is troubled. Cognitively speaking, I suggest that John 11 affects the Perceiver side of incarnation, John 13 affects the Server side of incarnation, while John 12 touches the core Contributor aspect of incarnation. These three passages are the only times in the Gospel of John where Jesus is described as being troubled.

Returning now to John 13, John’s description of uncovering who will betray Jesus is unusually specific, which suggests that it has symbolic significance. Initially, the disciples have no clue: “The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking” (v.22). The point is that when one is feasting at the table of intellectual food, then there is no obvious way of telling who is a Judas and who is not. That is because intellectual feeding is driven by Teacher emotions of understanding. It is after the meal, when the feet are washed, that the heel of him who ate the bread is lifted up against incarnation. Saying this cognitively, Judas does not become apparent when one is searching for Teacher understanding. Instead, Judas becomes apparent when this understanding is applied to personal identity. That is when the unclean mind of a Judas instinctively turns upon rational thought in order to protect MMNs of childish identity.

The sequence of discovering a betrayer starts with John, the writer of the Gospel of John: “There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved” (v.23). Saying this cognitively, one will only become sensitive to a mindset of Judas if one is emotionally connected with incarnation. Stated more simply, it is when I apply the understanding of incarnation to my personal identity that I become aware of those who are avoiding personal implications. Notice that John is not just emotionally involved with Jesus, but he is actually emotionally comfortable in the presence of Jesus.

Spiritual sensitivity is good, but it also needs to be evaluated factually. That is why it is Simon Peter who actually poses the question: “So Simon Peter gestured to him, and said to him, ‘Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking’” (v.24). Simon means ‘hearing’ while Peter means ‘rock’. Thus, one evaluates the identity of a potential Judas by using rational, word-based, abstract thought to determine the facts. Peter then conveys this question non-verbally to John. Thus, there may be a gut feeling about someone, but this gut feeling needs to be evaluated factually using abstract thought. When Peter conveys this request non-verbally to John, then John asks Jesus while focusing upon his emotional connection with Jesus: “He, leaning back thus on Jesus’ bosom, said to Him, ‘Lord, who is it?’” (v.25). Notice that John is ‘leaning back on Jesus’ bosom’ when he asks the question.

Putting this together, determining the identity of a Judas requires a combination of thinking. The overall context is the verbal realm of Teacher understanding, and the general purpose is to determine Perceiver facts. However, when it comes to the evaluation itself, one’s personal emotional connection with incarnation needs to be emphasized. This combination can be seen in Galatians 6, where Paul says “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted” (Gal. 6:1). The word translated trespass means to ‘fall away after being close beside’, which describes the situation of Judas. And the general context is submitting personally to the understanding of incarnation, because two verses earlier, Paul said that “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24). However, those who deal with these problems need to be spiritual—‘resting in Jesus’ bosom’, and they need to deal with the problem in a spirit of gentleness—‘leaning back on Jesus’ bosom’.

Jesus answers, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him” (v.26). The morsel is a choice piece of meat that the guest would dip into the broth and give personally to an honored guest. (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands is a fascinating description of Oriental customs, written in the 1950s by a Westerner who lived among Arabs who had preserved customs that were prevalent during the time of Jesus.) If water represents Mercy experiences, then dipping the morsel means adding personal implications to intellectual food. Doing this to an honored guest means focusing emotional attention upon the personal identity of that individual. Looking at this cognitively, Jesus is trying to trigger an emotional response from Judas by doing precisely what a Judas does not want. Judas is happy to eat the bread of understanding, but he does not want this understanding to be applied to his own person, especially in front of others. Jesus is revealing the hidden motives of Judas by taking some choice concept, looking at the personal implications, and then applying this to the situation of Judas.

John mentions the full name of Judas, indicating that the problem is not with the praise of Judas, but rather with Judas the son of Simon Iscariot: giving praise to a person who pursues verbal understanding in an objective, social manner (v.26). Receiving the morsel triggers a response in Judas: “After the morsel, Satan then entered into him” (v.27). Satan means ‘adversary’. Thus, Judas responds to this personal application in a defensive manner, viewing the situation as a conflict between personal MMNs: ‘Who are you to apply your morality to me!’ This type of Satanic response is the fundamental characteristic of deconstructionism, which views all truth as some powerful group attempting to impose its standards upon the rest of society. Jesus then tells Judas to perform his task quickly: “Therefore Jesus said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly’” (v.27). I am not totally sure why Jesus says this. I suspect that this is because an adversarial approach is very corrosive to rational Teacher understanding. For instance, many of the soft sciences are being destroyed today by an attitude of deconstructionism, which is turning universities from centers of free speech and critical thinking into bastions of political correctness in which dissenting voices are literally shouted down.

Nobody else at the table suspects what is happening: “Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him” (v.28). Looking at this cognitively, Jesus does not allow the table discussion to descend to the level of childish MMNs. Instead, this probing of Judas occurs within the context of acquiring and sharing understanding. The implication is that the disciples consider it normal to illustrate understanding with personal examples.

John explains that the disciples cannot see the betrayal because they are thinking in terms of absolute truth: “For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, ‘Buy the things we have need of for the feast’; or else, that he should give something to the poor” (v.29). Absolute truth needs religious festivals to emotionally reinforce the source of absolute truth in Mercy thought. Similarly, giving to the poor is a natural expression of the self-denial that accompanies an attitude of absolute truth. However, religious festivals and alms-giving are both external aspects of absolute truth. They are physical activities in which a Judas can participate, which give the illusion of having the right internal motives. John emphasizes that ‘Judas had the money box’, telling us that Judas is focusing upon external value rather than personal transformation.

Judas responds by leaving immediately: “So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night” (v.30). The personal attention pushes Judas over the edge, and he reacts by physically separating himself from the meal. The fact that he deals with emotional discomfort by physically avoiding the situation reinforces the idea that he is ignoring internal problems by focusing upon the external. John adds that ‘it was night’, implying that leaving causes Judas to lose the illumination of a Teacher understanding. Saying this cognitively, when a person responds to Teacher understanding by doing Server actions that avoid Teacher understanding in order to protect childish Mercy feelings, then this will lead to a mindset of unrighteousness that prevents a person from gaining understanding in Teacher thought. We saw this in John 9 in the process of the religious leaders becoming blind.

When Judas leaves, then Jesus explains that God is now free to express Himself through Incarnation: “Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately” (v.31-32). I suggested earlier that technical specializations naturally become policed by Judases, who ensure that everything meets the official standards of technical thought. If one is to go beyond technical thought to incarnation, then the Judases have to be induced to leave. Once Judas is out of the way, then incarnation is free to express itself: ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified’. Going further, technical thought will then become motivated by Teacher understanding rather than by a mixture of understanding, intellectual one-upmanship, and professional pride: ‘God is glorified in him’. The TMN of a concept of God will become the driving force: ‘God will also glorify Him in Himself’. And this change in focus will become immediately apparent: ‘glorify Him immediately’.

Absolute to Universal Truth 13:33-35

When the TMN of a concept of God is free to express itself through incarnation in Mercy experiences, then there will be a natural transition from absolute truth to universal truth. A fundamentalist attitude of absolute truth can analyze truth rationally using technical thought and it can also apply this truth to personal identity. But this understanding and application will be seen as something religious that is distinct from normal life. One is studying the Bible in order to understand theology, and one is following God by applying religious principles. This is good, but following God will be viewed as something religious that is separate from secular thought and activity. One needs to go further. For instance, a mindset of absolute truth would not think of comparing Jesus the Incarnation with the development of scientific thought, as we have been doing in the essay on John.

In contrast, when God is glorified through the Son of Man, then understanding and application will both be motivated by the TMN of a concept of God. Incarnation will then enter a realm where personal identity cannot follow: “Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’” (v.33). Jesus refers to his disciples as ‘little children’, implying that they are being guided by a childish mindset that is based in MMNs of personal status. This describes the fundamental assumption of absolute truth. Similarly, Jesus said to the Jews in John 7:34 as well as in John 8:21 that he was going to a place where the Jews would seek him but could not follow, because the Jews were also mentally driven by MMNs of personal status.

A transition from absolute truth to universal truth will be least painful if one is applying the correct content for inadequate reasons. This transition is supposed to happen within the mind of a school student. Initially, a student acquires content through rote learning, blindly accepting facts from teachers and other authority figures because they are regarded as important people. Rote learning is supposed to be followed by critical thinking, in which one thinks through what one was taught in order to go beyond personal authority to general understanding. However, such a transition will only occur if authorities believe that truth exists and that truth can be held together by Teacher understanding. That is why Jesus makes this statement after supper when Judas has left.

At a more basic level, if the disciples are to make a transition from absolute truth to universal truth, then it is essential for Jesus to physically leave. That is because he is too overwhelming as a person. His very presence creates Mercy emotions of personal status that overwhelm the ability of Perceiver thought to think for itself. It is like being in a classroom with a genius who knows all the answers to every question. No one would dare to venture an opinion, but rather would defer to the expert.

When the mind makes a transition from absolute truth to universal truth, then personal identity will naturally lag behind rational understanding. The disciples will ‘seek by inquiring’ and ‘search to get to the bottom of a matter’, but they will ‘lack the power’ to follow personally. Saying this cognitively, it takes time to for a rational understanding in Teacher thought to digest the various layers of personal identity in Mercy thought.

For instance, the theory of mental symmetry began as a study of the seven spiritual gifts mentioned in Romans 12, and most Christians regard these spiritual gifts as something religious that one receives from God when becoming a Christian. The first step in constructing the theory of mental symmetry was to make an intellectual transition from absolute truth to universal truth by viewing Romans 12 as a description of cognitive styles rather than a doctrine of spiritual gifts. Developing the theory of mental symmetry has meant building a rational understanding of the mind, and then using this rational understanding to rethink religious beliefs and experiences. Throughout this process, rational understanding has led, while personal identity has followed.

The personal transition from absolute truth to universal truth can be assisted by proactively using Teacher understanding to guide the interaction between people in Mercy thought: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (v.34). Notice that Jesus is commanding the disciples to love one another. This is only possible if rational understanding rules over personal emotions. Jesus also says the disciples should ‘love one another’. Mercy status drives a person to love one’s leaders, while self-denial motivates a person to love the down-and-out. Jesus saying that love should be applied reciprocally to one’s fellow followers of Christ. Jesus then adds that love for each other should follow the pattern that Jesus set by loving his disciples.

One sees this same combination of elements in the golden rule in Luke 10: “‘What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?’ And he answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:26-27). The golden rule of loving one’s neighbor as oneself is regarded universally as a maxim of altruism. However, Jesus precedes the golden rule by an instruction to love God with all the facets of one’s mind. And Jesus emphasizes that this sums up the law. Thus, love for one another is being placed within the context of being guided fully by the TMN of a concept of God. Saying this more simply, love requires understanding and is not just a feeling. Rational understanding is needed to determine what will really help another person. For instance, giving endless candy to a child may make the child feel good, but it is not love, because endless candy will end up harming the child.

In a similar manner, Jesus redefines feelings of tribal identity: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (v.35). Absolute truth leads naturally to feelings of religious superiority: ‘We have the truth and others do not’, ‘We are chosen by God and others are not’. These tribal emotions need to be replaced by emotions that express incarnation. Incarnation goes beyond concrete technical thought by saving people and not just things. Love of people will illustrate this aspect of incarnation, and it will also provide a social environment that Judases find caustic. Incarnation goes beyond abstract technical thought by being guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought. Loving one another without favoritism or exceptions will express what it means to be guided by a concept of God that applies to all people. Saying this more generally, incarnation extends to Mercy experiences but is rooted in a Teacher understanding of God. Thus, the goal is not for Jesus’ followers to be regarded as special people, but rather for them to be regarded as disciples of incarnation—followers of something higher that transcends Mercy feelings of culture and identity.

Peter’s Denial 13:36-38

Peter ignores Jesus’ new commandment about love and focuses upon Jesus’ statement that he is going somewhere: “Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are You going?’” (v.36). Peter’s question is typical of Perceiver thought because it focuses upon location: ‘Where are you going?’ Jesus, in contrast, focuses upon timing and ability: “Jesus answered, ‘Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later’” (v.36). More literally, ‘You do not have the power now to follow, but you will follow afterward’. Peter, the rock, ignores timing and pledges total self-denial: “Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You’” (v.37). Jesus responds by predicting that Peter’s self-denial will cause him to deny Incarnation three times: “Jesus answered, ‘Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times’” (v.38).

Many words have been written about Peter’s denial of Jesus. I suggest that this denial makes cognitive sense when one looks at the role that Perceiver thought plays in the transition from absolute truth to universal truth, and that one can see this interaction illustrated by the response of Christianity to the development of science and technology. I have already mentioned that personal identity lags behind rational understanding when absolute truth is replaced by universal truth. That is because MMNs of personal identity can only be transformed after one has used rational thought to construct the TMN of a concept of God. Saying this more simply, one can only become personally transformed to the extent that one has constructed a concept of God.

There is also a relationship between technical thought and Perceiver thought, which we saw when looking at the story of the blind beggar in John 9. Technical thought can think rationally within some specialization in an overall context of blind faith and absolute truth. For instance, Galileo discovered his law about pendulums when he was watching an incense lamp swing to and fro in the Cathedral of Pisa during a religious service. He was using technical thought to analyze the pendulum, but this was being done within a general context of religious ritual and blind faith.

Perceiver thought can always find connections, but the quality of Perceiver connections will rise dramatically after technical thought has developed in many different specializations, making it possible for Perceiver thought to compare one specialization with another. The theory of mental symmetry provides an illustration of this principle. The traits of the seven cognitive styles were initially gathered by my brother Lane Friesen, who compared character traits that were described in many carefully written biographies. Similarly, mental symmetry turned into a meta-theory of cognition by comparing the technical findings of one specialization with another. That is why Peter cannot follow Incarnation now, but will follow later. The technical thinking of incarnation must first develop in many specializations before Perceiver thought can follow.

Before we continue, it is important to remind ourselves of the context. The topic of John 13 is Incarnation ascending to God. Cognitively speaking, this means using technical thought to construct a general Teacher understanding. When one is attempting to do this, then Contributor thought has to go first and Perceiver thought needs to follow. The cognitive reason for this becomes apparent if one looks at the diagram of mental symmetry. One can see from the diagonal line that Teacher and Perceiver cooperate to produce abstract thought. But there is no direct connection between Teacher and Perceiver. Instead, the connection runs from Teacher to Server to Contributor to Perceiver, which means that Contributor has to connect Server and Perceiver before Perceiver can help Teacher.

This principle is apparent when learning some new language or field. Abstract technical thought is based in precise definitions, formed when Contributor thought connects Server sequences of words with Perceiver meanings. If one wishes to gain an adequate understanding, then one must take the time and effort to learn precise definitions of words. Without such precise definitions, understanding will always remain hazy.

The temptation is for Perceiver thought to use self-denial to try to follow incarnation immediately. Self-denial is a byproduct of absolute truth. If the source of truth is far more important than personal identity, then one follows truth fully by denying self and focusing completely upon the source of truth. Notice that it is Peter who is doing the self-denying. Thus, one is not looking at Mercy thought laying down its life through experiences of pain and suffering, but rather at Perceiver thought laying down its life by stopping thinking in order to accept truth blindly from some absolute source of truth. In fact, when I started to examine Perceiver thought several decades ago, I thought that this was the only way that Perceiver thought could function.

Perceiver thought thinks that it can use self-denial to immediately follow incarnation to general understanding because blind faith gives the illusion of universal understanding. A universal theory is one that applies everywhere all the time. One can construct a universal theory either by discovering Perceiver facts that are universally true, or by being universally certain that Perceiver facts are true. Using an analogy, suppose that a warning light stays on in my car. This could mean that there is a lasting problem with the car, or it could mean that there is a lasting problem with the warning light. Similarly, if I know that some fact is universally true, then this could mean that the fact is universally true, or it could also mean that I have become universally convinced that this fact is true. Blind faith leads to the second option, because it creates a sense of universal knowing that convinces me that some fact is true. Using the language of Jesus, blind faith tries to go immediately to the heaven of Teacher thought by laying down Perceiver thought in blind faith in order to acquire the certainty that certain facts are universally true.

For example, the emphasis in evangelical churches has traditionally been upon certainty of belief rather than clarity of thought. Adherents are expected to believe with certainty in some statement of faith. But the average adherent is unable to define the meanings of the words in which total confidence is expected to be placed, words such as righteousness, justification, sanctification, incarnation, faith, holiness, or salvation. However, if one has total confidence in theological words such as these wherever one goes, then this will give the illusion of having a universal understanding.

I should point out that we are looking at something that is similar to the Teacher overgeneralization of mysticism but different. In both cases, Perceiver thought is making it possible for Teacher thought to regard a theory as more general than warranted. With mysticism, Perceiver thought steps out of the way, giving Teacher thought the freedom to overgeneralize. With blind faith, emotional pressure is causing Perceiver confidence to become permanently ‘stuck on’, like a faulty indicator light, making it possible for Teacher thought to continue holding onto certain words, giving Teacher thought the impression that these words define general theories.

Unfortunately, this self-denial will cause Perceiver thought to deny incarnation. There is a cognitive reason for this. When one defines a word precisely, then one is both saying what a word means and what it does not mean. Using the analogy of the indicator light, one is determining precisely when the light should go on and when it should go off. This will prevent the ‘indicator light’ from being stuck on, removing the illusion of Teacher generality. This process of defining the precise boundaries of what a word does and does not mean involves Perceiver thought, and when Perceiver thought is being used by the mind, then this will raise the emotional status of personal identity relative to my source of truth, bringing doubt to the attitude of blind faith. Saying this more simply, believers will learn that too much education leads to skepticism. Thus, theological books and commentaries have historically had a schizophrenic approach to precise definitions. On the one hand, specific words will be given precise dictionary definitions, which we have been quoting in these essays. However, when one goes beyond specific words to general theological concepts, then one will typically find that a threshold is crossed where language turns from analytic to ecstatic. The author will define concepts precisely and then switch gears and talk about God and core religious concepts using vague, worshipful, poetic language.

Jesus said that Peter will deny him three times before the rooster crows. A rooster is a male bird, and a rooster crows to indicate the coming of the dawn. Interpreting this symbolically, birds live within the air of Teacher thought, and daytime represents the light of a general Teacher understanding. A rooster crowing represents abstract technical thought verbally announcing the coming of a universal understanding. One sees this illustrated by the current search for a theory of everything that will explain all aspects of physics. I suggest that the theoretical return of Jesus at the end of Revelation 11 describes the unveiling of a true theory of everything which includes all of existence and not just the materialistic realm of physics. (One can come up with a mathematical theory of almost everything in the physical universe but I do not think that one can use mathematics to come up with a theory of everything including God, humanity, physical reality, and non-physical realms. That is because math is an expression of technical thought and technical thought is always limited to some specialization. Instead, I think that one must be satisfied with using the analogies of normal thought in a semi-rigorous manner.)

Summarizing, we are looking specifically here at Peter denying Jesus. Peter represents Perceiver thought and incarnation is based in technical thought. When Perceiver thought lays down its life, then this indicates an attitude of absolute truth, in which Perceiver thought turns off and accepts truth blindly from some absolute source of truth. This is the normal starting point for Perceiver thought in the mind of the child, and part of growing up cognitively involves waking up Perceiver thought from this state of mesmerized devotion to authority. When Peter denies Jesus by laying down his life, then Perceiver thought is declaring that absolute Perceiver truth has nothing to do with technical thought. Those who proclaim absolute truth about God are stating that one cannot find truth about God through technical thought.

The next section may seem at first glance to be somewhat of a leap from the biblical text. However, in the same way that we interpreted the betrayal of Judas as symbolic of a general mindset, so we will also view the three denials of Peter as representing three general mindsets, which can be summarized in the following way: First, Perceiver thought can deny incarnation in abstract thought. Second, Perceiver thought can deny incarnation in concrete thought. Third, Perceiver thought can lay down its life within some general context and believe that it has no right to function. Going further, if one interprets the description of Peter’s denials in John 18 using standard symbolism, then this leads to an interpretation that is consistent with what we are about to describe. Finally, we will see in John 14-17 that the plan of incarnation overcomes these three denials. The theoretical return of Jesus at the end of John 14 overcomes the abstract denial of Peter. The culture of spiritual technology that emerges in John 15 overcomes the concrete denial of Peter. And the unveiling of ultimate reality in John 17 makes it clear that a person must use Perceiver thought in order to survive and flourish.

The first major denial of Incarnation by absolute truth occurred during the Protestant Reformation, through Luther’s doctrines of sola fide—justification by faith alone, and sola scriptura—the Bible as the only source of absolute truth.

Salvation begins with a verbal declaration of justification by God; it starts with faith. But as the book of James emphasizes, faith then expresses itself through works. In other words, justification by faith is a scriptural doctrine, but not justification by faith alone. Contributor-based technical thought, by its very nature, requires a combination of Perceiver and Server. Justification by faith alone holds on blindly to Perceiver truth without adding Server thought. However, one cannot divorce what one believes in Perceiver thought with how one acts in Server thought. If Perceiver belief does not transform Server actions through righteousness, then Server actions will end up twisting Perceiver belief through unrighteousness. I come from a Mennonite background. Mennonites have historically emphasized that faith expresses itself through works, and Mennonites have also historically been persecuted both by Catholics who practiced works without faith, and by Protestants who taught that faith can be divorced from works. (Anabaptism has its own limitations, but it has attempted to follow a third path of faith-that-works, which is different than the Catholic emphasis upon salvation through works, or Luther’s concept of salvation through faith alone.)

Similarly, the more I study the Bible, the more I come to the conclusion that the Bible is an accurate source of universal truth, which is quite different than saying that the Bible is the only source of absolute truth. That is because one can also gain an understanding of God’s universal truth by studying how the universe and the mind function—how they act. Science has constructed a partial concept of Incarnation by using technical thought to study how the universe and the mind function. Sola scriptura says that one can ignore how the world and the mind function and learn everything about ultimate truth by studying only the words of the Bible. But one cannot divorce the study of Scripture from the process of personal transformation, and one also cannot divorce the study of Scripture from the natural processes of the universe. These must all go hand-in-hand.

Some readers may feel that I am being overly harsh on Martin Luther, so I would like to back up my comments with some evidence. Luther may have stated that he believed in Scripture, but he had problems believing Scripture when it contradicted his doctrine of salvation by faith alone. The book of James emphasizes that faith expresses itself in works. Luther infamously described this book as a straw epistle, because “it has in it nothing of an evangelical kind”.

Going further, technical thought respects free will and uses rational thinking to convince opponents, while blind faith uses Mercy emotions to overwhelm Perceiver thought. Luther consistently reverted to using armed force to impose beliefs upon his opponents when they chose to ignore his arguments. This can be seen in Luther’s treatment of Jews. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Luther’s attitude toward the Jews changed over the course of his life. In the early phase of his career—until around 1536—he expressed concern for their plight in Europe and was enthusiastic at the prospect of converting them to Christianity through his religious reforms. Being unsuccessful in that, in his later career, Luther denounced Judaism and called for harsh persecution of its followers, so that they might not be allowed to teach.” It can also be seen in Luther’s treatment of peasants. In 1525, many German peasants rebelled against the oppression of feudalism, partially motivated by Luther’s teachings. Quoting again from Wikipedia, “Luther vehemently opposed the revolts, writing the pamphlet Against the Murderous, Thieving Hordes of Peasants, in which he remarks ‘Let everyone who can, smite, slay, and stab, secretly or openly ... nothing can be more poisonous, hurtful, or devilish than a rebel. It is just as one must kill a mad dog; if you do not strike him he will strike you.’” Finally, this can be seen in Luther’s treatment of Mennonites. Quoting from the Mennonite Encyclopedia, “In Luther’s mind the Anabaptist movement came more and more into the category of sedition, partly because of civil disturbances connected with the movement, partly because of radical utterances on the part of certain Anabaptists, and partly because of more or less biased reports. Consequently Luther was never able to recognize the quiet, purely religious Anabaptism. It was to him not a matter for spiritual weapons, since he was unable to differentiate them, and no longer saw any of them as purely spiritual opponents. In the foreword to the Instruction of the Inspectors to the Pastors in the Electorate of Saxony, Luther speaks of the duty of the government to see that ‘dissension, partisan spirit, and sedition do not arise among their subjects.’ This statement concerned the prohibition of all Anabaptist literature in Saxony. For Luther the Anabaptists were no longer ‘sinners primarily against religion,’ but rather ‘against the essence of the state.’”

In summary, Luther introduced and taught important doctrines regarding justification by faith. But he did not practice what he preached: He preached salvation by faith alone, but he ultimately practiced salvation by faith enforced by government power. He preached Scripture alone, but he ultimately practiced Scripture supported by government law. And that is precisely the point. If one does not believe that faith should lead to works, then one will naturally become a hypocrite who preaches one thing while practicing another. I am not trying to pick on Martin Luther. He succeeded in performing the difficult task of introducing salvation by faith to Western Christendom, a task that had to be performed. But if one wishes to go beyond what Martin Luther accomplished, then one needs to examine what Luther—and other reformers—did in the light of a fuller understanding of the process of personal transformation.

This first denial of Incarnation by the self-denial of absolute truth led to a split between science and religion. Science pursued the technical thinking of incarnation, while Protestant Christianity rooted itself in absolute truth. I am not suggesting that every Protestant Christian builds a mental wall between science and religion. However, history makes it clear that the technical thinking of science and the absolute truth of religion have become regarded by society at large as distinct and irreconcilable. Peter’s first denial of Jesus has become a core assumption of Western culture. Was this denial inevitable? I think that some kind of denial was inevitable, because Jesus prefaced his response to Peter with a ‘truly truly’. However, I also think that there was considerable free will regarding the nature and extent of this denial.

The second major denial of Incarnation by absolute truth occurred during the Industrial Revolution. This is when the technical thinking of science began to transform the world through technology. Christian absolute truth started to feel squeezed. The primary response of Christianity was to emphasize irrational faith and pietistic belief. For instance, Kierkegaard said that Christianity is defined by a leap of faith, in which one abandons all rational thought and makes a leap towards nothing. Kierkegaard described this not as a leap of faith, because that assumes that one is arriving at some destination of truth, but rather a leap to faith, in which faith is found in the leap itself, because there is nothing to arrive to. (Kierkegaard accurately described many problems with typical Christian thought and behavior, but I suggest that his solution was wrong.) Using the language of John, Peter is ‘giving his life’, because Perceiver thought is believing that there is nothing for Perceiver thought to believe. Wikipedia quotes Charles Irving Glicksberg as saying that Kierkegaard took this leap in order to deny the technical thinking of Incarnation: “Like Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, who plays an important role in the spiritual struggle for meaning on the part of the modern writer, cast off the bondage of logic and the tyranny of science.”

More generally, 19th century fundamentalist Protestant Christianity reacted against scientific knowledge by emphasizing personal faith based in emotional experiences. One can see this in the Second Great Awakening and other similar revivalist movements. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious revival movement during the early 19th century in the United States… The Second Great Awakening reflected Romanticism characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an appeal to the super-natural. It rejected the skeptical rationalism and deism of the Enlightenment… These revivals were part of a much larger Romantic religious movement that was sweeping across Europe at the time, mainly throughout England, Scotland, and Germany.” Notice that the technical thinking of science is being rejected while emotional religious experiences are being used to emotionally overwhelm Perceiver thought into believing absolute truth.

Quoting again from Wikipedia, “As the more radical implications of the scientific and cultural influences of the Enlightenment began to be felt in the Protestant churches, especially in the 19th century, ‘Liberal Christianity, exemplified especially by numerous theologians in Germany in the 19th century, sought to bring the churches alongside of the broad revolution that modernism represented… In reaction to these developments, Christian fundamentalism was a movement to reject the radical influences of philosophical humanism, as this was affecting the Christian religion. Especially targeting critical approaches to the interpretation of the Bible and trying to blockade the inroads made into their churches by atheistic scientific assumptions, the fundamentalists began to appear in various denominations as numerous independent movements of resistance to the drift away from historic Christianity.” Notice how Perceiver thought is trying to defend Christian faith by laying its life down in the blind faith of fundamentalism, which ends up denying the partial incarnation of science with its technical thought.

I am not suggesting that fundamentalism is evil or that all fundamentalists are irrational. All education, both religious and secular, starts as fundamentalism, with students blindly believing the words of the instructors. However, this is normally followed by critical thinking, in which students use rational thought to re-evaluate what was initially acquired through blind faith. The problem arises when religious emotionalism is used to prolong an attitude of blind faith by using emotional pressure to prevent Perceiver thought from waking up. (For instance, one can see this in the thinking of Ellen White). Saying this more crudely, revival meetings have their place, but the solution for religious doubt is not having another series of revival meetings. When that happens, then I suggest that Peter is denying Jesus by laying down his life.

The first denial led to a split between religion and science. The second denial created a division between faith and reason. Faith became defined as blind belief despite the facts, while reason became equated with the technical thinking of science. Scientific reason was used to study physical reality, while blind faith dealt with the unseen. Obviously, there are many exceptions to this generalization, but this division between faith and reason has become a fundamental aspect of the Western worldview.

The third major denial of Incarnation by absolute truth is occurring with today’s search for spirituality. The problem is not that people are seeking spirituality, but rather that they are trying to find spirituality by denying content. The starting point is typically a questioning of absolute truth. Those who are trying to better the human condition see the harm that usually results when authority figures impose truth upon the population. However, instead of replacing absolute truth with universal truth, absolute truth is being replaced with nothing. During the second denial, fundamentalism insisted that Perceiver thought had no right to independent existence, but rather had to lay down its life in order to submit blindly to the pronouncements of authority figures. The third denial claims to bring freedom from fundamentalism, but it leads to something worse, because it states that Perceiver thought has no right to exist: Perceiver thought cannot think because there is nothing to think about; Perceiver thought cannot discover truth because truth does not exist.

If Perceiver thought has no right to exist, then nothing will prevent Teacher thought from overgeneralization or stop Mercy thought from identification. Overgeneralization will proclaim in Teacher thought that All is One, while identification will pretend in Mercy that I am the universal ‘All in One’. The end result will be a ‘rediscovery’ of Eastern mysticism. If I am God, then there is no need for any incarnation to reconcile me with God, and if God transcends all rational concepts, then the very idea of a rational incarnation descending from God becomes meaningless. Notice that all of this is happening in the subjective. Science and technology will still be using technical thought in an objective, specialized manner, assisted by Perceiver thought and Perceiver facts. But Perceiver thought will ‘lay down its life’ when dealing with universal topics in Teacher thought or personal identity in Mercy thought.

Summarizing, postmodern questioning declares that truth does not exist, effectively giving Perceiver thought the death sentence. When Perceiver thought has been removed, then the mind will naturally discover mysticism, and mysticism by its very nature denies Incarnation. Going further, when Perceiver thought is put to death, then the very concept of truth becomes meaningless, everything becomes ‘fake news’, and all that remains is dictators with big mouths and special interest groups with strong feelings.

Dwelling Places 14:1-4

John 14 opens by describing the underlying problem: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me” (v.1). The word troubled is the same word used in earlier chapters to describe Jesus being troubled. In the case of Jesus, it appears that a cognitive shift was occurring within his mind, and I suggest that the same thing is happening here. People’s hearts—their MMNs of personal identity—are feeling threatened. One can see this feeling of personal threat in each of the three denials. In the first denial, people were feeling threatened by God and church. Luther taught salvation by faith alone in order to find peace with God and to become free of the Catholic sense of duty and religious self-denial. However, this first denial ended up making things worse because it limited the incarnational thinking of science largely to the realm of the objective and the impersonal, causing people to be treated like machines. People felt threatened again, and they responded by denying incarnation a second time through subjective belief. This second denial naturally followed the first denial, because Scripture had become associated with blind faith, and technology had proved that science works and blind faith does not. However, this second denial ended up making things still worse because it limited the salvation of science to the objective and impersonal realm of the consumer society, turning people into consumers. People are now feeling threatened again, and they are responding to inhuman materialism by a third denial of incarnation through contentless mysticism. This third denial naturally follows the second denial, because truth has become associated with subjective belief, and the consumer society proves that science and technology are far more effective at bringing salvation than subjective belief.

In each case, people are willing to believe in God but they are not willing to believe in Incarnation. This turns believing in God and Incarnation into believing in either God or Incarnation. The verbal revelation of God in Scripture became separated from the incarnational thinking of science. Personal faith in God became separated from the reasoned incarnational thinking of technical thought. Spiritual search for God has become separated from the partial incarnation of the modern technological society. Notice how each denial made the next denial almost inevitable.

Jesus explains in chapter 14 why Incarnation needs to be added to belief in God: “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also” (v.2-3). Technical scientific thought troubles people’s hearts because it has no place for humanity. Objective science studies the world and ignores subjective emotions, resulting in a transformed physical environment that also ignores subjective emotions. This troubles people’s hearts because it is inherently inhuman.

Incarnation, in contrast, extends technical thought to include both personal identities and a concept of God. That is why Jesus can tell his disciples that there are many dwelling places in his Father’s house. The word translated dwelling place means ‘lodging, dwelling place, room’, which emphasizes the fact that there is a place, not just for identity, but rather for individual identities, because there are many dwelling places. Jesus goes beyond talking about the Father’s name, or the Father’s character, to the Father’s house, and the word translated house means ‘house, household, dwelling’. Stated more concisely, Jesus is saying that when the technical thinking of Incarnation descends from God the Father, the end results are compatible with personal human existence. And Jesus adds that he would tell his disciples if this were not the case. Unlike Jesus, science does not tell people that it will lead to inhuman results. The technical thinking of science promises paradise, but delivers inhumanity.

Applying this to the three denials of Incarnation, in each case people should have extended technical thought to include personal identity, but instead they chose to comfort personal identity by laying down Perceiver thought and denying Incarnation. Verse 3 explains why: “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” It takes time to extend technical thought to include a place for identity. Incarnation must go on ahead and use technical thought, extend technical thinking to ‘prepare a place’ for identity, and then return to personal existence. Jesus told Peter at the end of the previous chapter that he could not follow him immediately: “Jesus answered, ‘Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You’” (v.36-37). Instead of accepting this delay, Peter insisted that he could follow right away by laying down Perceiver thought. Similarly, instead of taking the time to extend scientific thought to include the subjective and the universal, the typical response has been to deny Incarnation and embrace some version of blind faith.

The Perceiver person is partially immune to this problem because of the nature of conscious thought. In the same way that a person can live within a room that is partially filled with garbage by choosing to step around the piles of rubbish, so conscious thought can function to some extent amidst mental garbage by choosing to step internally around the piles of rubbish. In contrast, a cognitive module that is subconscious will only start to function if most of the mental garbage is removed. Thus, many Perceiver persons find themselves in the role of prophets speaking to the blind. The Perceiver person can use conscious thought to work with the mixture of blind faith, mysticism, fundamentalism, and rational thought that passes for truth today. But this mixture contains too many piles of mental rubbish to enable subconscious Perceiver thought to function within the average person.

Looking at this purely cognitively, blind faith leads instantly to a sense of knowing for Perceiver thought. (Putting this together with the comment made in the previous section, blind faith leads instantly to a sense of knowing that feels universal.) In contrast, it takes time to gain confidence in facts by looking for connections. That is because confidence in facts increases as one notices connections being repeated. But one will only notice connections being repeated if one takes the time to compare one situation or specialization with another, and that is only possible if one learns about many situations or specializations, and learning about specializations is only possible after technical thought has developed these specializations. Similarly, the quality of connections that Perceiver thought discovers will depend upon how much one learns about different situations or specializations.

For instance, I mentioned previously in this essay that it has taken me several decades to become merely competent in a number of technical fields. And these technical fields had to be developed first by others using incarnational thinking to go on ahead of Perceiver thought. Using the language of John, Jesus has to go first, and then Peter can follow. But if Peter tries to use blind faith to follow instantly, then Peter will end up denying Jesus.

Going further, I have attempted for several decades to believe in both God and Incarnation—to pursue both universal Teacher understanding and technical thought. What has eventually emerged is a cognitive home for personal identity, a general theory within which one can live, because it has room for both the technical thinking of science and the mental networks of identity. And this ‘house of the Father’ is a meta-theory that has many places for specific theories and cultures. But the three denials of Peter have become so entrenched within Western civilization that people typically view my concepts as if they come from a different planet. And in a sense they are right, because I am trying to fathom what it means to live in a world where Peter does not deny Jesus. This may sound like a sweeping overgeneralization, but the three splits of religion versus science, reason versus faith, and materialism versus spirituality really have become fundamental assumptions of Western society.

Thomas 14:5-7

The next question comes from Thomas. Jesus tells the disciples that “‘you know the way where I am going.’ Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?’” (v.4-5). Thomas means ‘twin’. I am not quite sure what Thomas symbolizes, but one can gain a clue by looking at the behavior of Thomas. In John 11:16, when Jesus said that he was going to Jerusalem to visit Lazarus, Thomas declared that the disciples should accompany Jesus ‘so that we may die with Him’. And John 20 contains the famous story of doubting Thomas, where Thomas declares that he will not believe that Jesus has risen from the dead unless he has direct empirical evidence. These two references portray a person who thinks in terms of concrete thought and physical evidence. Thomas’ question in John 14 also reflects this cognitive bias.

Thus, it could be that the name ‘twin’ represents a mindset which thinks that the internal, spiritual, and angelic realms are merely ‘twins’ of physical reality. This is a common mistake. For instance, many people think that heaven is a more ideal version of Earth, and that God is merely a perfect, all-knowing form of human being, a wise old man with a white beard sitting on a throne. In contrast, the theory of mental symmetry suggests that these various realms—and beings—are related through symmetries. A twin is an identical copy. Symmetry, in contrast, performs some sort of mirror-image twist to get from one item to another. For instance, mental symmetry suggests that one gets from physical to angelic by exchanging time and space, similar to the relationship between waves and objects in physics. (Note from 2023: Thomas can be interpreted more precisely as some mental system of Teacher order coexisting with a physical organization that expresses this system, such as Christian theology coexisting with the Catholic Church or scientific thought coexisting with academic institutions. The danger lies in equating physical symbols, such as bread and wine, with the mental concepts that these symbols represent.)

I mentioned that incarnation combines concrete technical thought with abstract technical thought. In concrete thought, place comes before path—Perceiver comes before Server. Every object occupies a certain place in the universe, and then paths are followed to move from one object to another. For instance, my house is here, the store is there, I walk from my house to the store. In order to know how to walk from my house to the store, I first have to know the location of my house and the location of the store.

This relationship is reversed for abstract thought. Path comes before place—Server comes before Perceiver. One can see this in speech. Speech starts with a sequence of verbal noises uttered by Teacher thought. Server thought divides these noises into distinct words, and then Perceiver thought assigns meanings to these words. (Linguistics contains many more details, but that is the big picture.) Similarly, mathematics is composed of sequences of symbols and equations. These equations are then applied to reality by using Perceiver thought to assign meanings to the variables. For instance, Y=3X+5 is merely a sequence of symbols which has no meaning. However, it requires a meaning if one states that X represents the number of hours but some object is rented, and Y represents the cost of renting the object. The cost is five dollars + 3 dollars for every hour.

Jesus has said throughout the Gospel of John that he is the word made flesh. If Jesus is descending from God in Teacher thought, then this means that path comes before place—Server comes before Perceiver. Jesus started with Server thought by doing only what he saw the Father doing. He then added Perceiver thought by living within the human realm of physical objects. Similarly, before Jesus entered the human realm of Perceiver objects, the pre-incarnate Jesus appeared as the angel of God. And angels appear to live within an angelic realm of Server sequences, which we call abstract thought.

With this in mind, let us return to John 14. Jesus says in verse 4 that the disciples ‘know the way where I am going’. Saying this cognitively, the Server sequences are known. Jesus says this because the starting point for God, the angelic realm, and Incarnation is Server sequence. But Thomas can only think in terms of concrete thought where Perceiver place comes before Server path: “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” For Thomas, it does not make sense to talk about Server sequence without talking first about Perceiver place.

This may seem like a trivial logical distinction, but in my experience it encapsulates a fundamental blindness of most Christian thought. Christians are continually quoting biblical verses out of context, pulling some statement out from the middle of a sequence. However, sequence appears to be a fundamental characteristic of biblical books. So far, I have discovered that the entire book of Revelation is a connected sequence, as is 1 John, 1 Corinthians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and most, if not all of Romans. We are now seeing that the Gospel of John is also a connected sequence. I do not know if the entire New Testament is composed of sequences, but I keep discovering sequence where I did not think that it existed.

Instead, the standard Christian practice is to pull pleasant verses out of context and apply them to personal identity. For instance, the Christian believer can be confident of being free of God’s condemnation because “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). However, this verse has requirements. The end of condemnation is not for every Christian believer, but rather for those who walk in the Spirit and not after the flesh. And Romans 8 is part of a larger sequence that extends at least from Romans 5-13, if not further.

One of the basic principles of scientific thought is that one goes beyond place to look for way; one looks beyond physical appearance to search for natural processes. That is because objects and places can be changed, but how the universe functions does not change. The invisible ways of natural processes are more solid than physical objects and places. Science knows this. Most of Christianity does not.

Christian promise grabbing is a natural byproduct of absolute truth, because absolute truth acquires its Perceiver knowing from the emotions of the moment. For instance, when Romans 8:1 is read with an attitude of sufficient emotional reverence and personal need, then Perceiver thought will know that it is true. This is another illustration of Perceiver thought laying down its life in order to follow Jesus now, because Perceiver thought is laying down its life in an attitude of blind faith in order to believe that this verse applies to me right now, without satisfying the requirements, and without going through the necessary sequence.

Jesus responds by saying that Incarnation combines Server path with Perceiver place: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me” (v.6). In typical promise grabbing fashion, this verse is often used to prove that ‘asking Jesus into my heart’ will cause me to feel at peace with God. Asking Jesus into my heart does lead to a feeling of peace with God, but this is merely one major step—admittedly, a major step—in a much larger sequence of being personally transformed, just as physical birth is one step in a larger sequence of gestation, birth, and growth. Looking at Jesus’ statement cognitively, Jesus is saying that Contributor combines Server and Perceiver. Incarnation, which is based in Contributor thought, combines the way of Server thought with the truth of Perceiver thought. Saying this another way, Contributor thought is needed to translate between Server path and Perceiver place. Contributor-controlled technical thought does this in abstract thought by connecting Server sequences of symbols with Perceiver meanings, as we just saw when looking at linguistics and math. Contributor-controlled technical thought does this in concrete thought by connecting Server actions with Perceiver facts, leading to a sense of cause-and-effect, or sowing-and-reaping.

Incarnation is also ‘the life’. The word translated life is zoe, which defines ‘life, both of physical and of spiritual existence’. Incarnation extends beyond technical thought to include mental networks of personal identity. This order is important because life cannot exist without structure. Every living organism requires a certain minimum of integrated, functioning parts. As biology has revealed, living cells are not magical blobs, but rather factories in miniature. Reducing Christianity to a ‘childish personal relationship with Jesus’ is pure ignorance—literally. That is because a child lives within the living structure of a functioning body, of which the child is ignorant. And a child lives within a social cocoon of parental care, of which the child is also ignorant. An ignorant child can temporarily have a childish relationship with parents. But it takes a lot of technical content to achieve a lasting, childlike relationship.

Notice that Thomas’ question comes after Peter’s comments. That is because it is only possible to deal with the misconception of Thomas after one has eliminated Peter’s attitude of absolute truth. As we have just seen, absolute truth naturally ignores sequence and tries to jump instantly to the goal. And because absolute truth jumps to the goal by basing truth in MMNs that represent people, absolute truth thinks of life as something that is achieved instantaneously. Going further, when laying down one’s life is the primary method, then one will focus upon death rather than life. But death is the absence of life; death occurs when the structure that is required to maintain life falls apart and ceases to function. Using Biblical language, the tree of life will be at the center of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:2), whereas death will be no more (Revelation 21:4).

Jesus emphasizes the role played by Incarnation that we have just discussed: “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him” (v.7). More literally, ‘If you had known me through personal experience, then you would have had a ‘seeing that turned to knowing’ of the Father. From now on you have an experiential knowing of Him and you can ‘see with the mind’ the Father.’

Looking at this cognitively, absolute truth is incapable of truly knowing Jesus personally. Fundamentalism may talk incessantly about having a personal relationship with Jesus, but the character of Jesus is being confused with the attitude of blind faith. Much of what an attitude of religious self-denial thinks that it knows about Jesus has nothing to do with Jesus but rather is the attitude of religious self-denial being attributed to Jesus.

For instance, the common perception is that ‘the death of Jesus on the cross is the ultimate expression of religious self-denial: One is supposed to follow the example of Jesus, glory in the shame of rejection that comes from following Jesus, and always remember that ‘we are nothing compared to God’. But that is not what it says in Hebrews 12. Instead, Jesus, “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). Jesus was motivated by the final result of joy, and he endured the cross. He did not glory in the shame but despised it. He did not end with worm theology, but rather sat down at the right hand of God. In other words, what we think is a knowledge of Jesus through personal experience is often a knowledge of religious self-denial through personal experience.

In contrast, if one has a knowledge through personal experience of what incarnation is really like, then one will recognize that Incarnation connects mankind with God, and one will see the world through different eyes. Seeing physical experiences will lead to a knowing of the character of God. One sees this partially illustrated by the scientist who sees physical experiences as an illustration of how the universe behaves. That is because the scientist is looking at the physical world through the glasses of incarnation.

At the beginning of John 14, Incarnation went to the realm of God and prepared places for humanity. Saying this cognitively, incarnation went to the heavenly realm of Server sequences and added Perceiver meanings to the Server sequences. Saying this mathematically, God lives within the realm of general equations. Jesus went to these equations and added meanings to the variables, creating places for human experience. When this translation has been done, then it becomes possible to personally experience the character of God the Father. And one can also see within one’s mind’s eye what the Father is like. (Seeing the Father face-to-face comes later in John 17.)

Notice that Server comes before Perceiver—way comes before place. Incarnation must go to the Server sequences of the Father’s house, translate these Server sequences into Perceiver meanings, and then Perceiver thought can follow. It is a category mistake to think that Peter can follow Jesus immediately when Jesus goes to the Father, because Peter thinks in terms of facts and place, while the Father is based upon way and sequence. Contributor thought must translate between these two.

For instance, the laws of physics are expressed as general mathematical equations. Technology translates these abstract sequential laws into physical objects. For instance, this is an ADDER circuit which carries out the mathematical equation of X+Y. This is a MULTIPLIER circuit which carries out the mathematical equation of X*Y. Transforming mathematical equations into physical objects takes an incredible level of technical thought. For instance, adder circuits and multiplier circuits are fabricated in semiconductor fabrication plants. Constructing such a plant currently costs several billion dollars. However, once a semiconductor chip has been constructed, then it is possible to take this chip home and play with it in order to gain an experiential knowledge of how science works. I worked briefly with a Mercy person who is an expert in electronics, and when he encountered a new chip, he would literally play around with it in order to experientially know how it functioned. When objects themselves are expressions of mathematical equations, then it is possible for seeing to turn into a knowing of the Father.

A similar principle would apply to the real heaven. I mentioned earlier that life requires content. Human life exists within bodies that function in a universe that is guided by universal laws in Teacher thought. Saying this more clearly, humans live in a world of Perceiver objects that are governed by Server sequences which are held together by the universal laws of God in Teacher thought. Humans complain about suffering, but human suffering still occurs within the general framework of natural law. A deeper level of human suffering would emerge if the Server sequences of natural law no longer functioned. For instance, imagine taking a step and not knowing if the law of gravity would suddenly reverse itself and one would be thrown up into the sky, or if the solid ground would suddenly disappear and one would fall into a hole. That is what it would be like if the natural universe were not ruled by unchanging and unchangeable natural laws. To some extent, this is what it felt like for a WWI soldier in the trenches, because an artillery shell could suddenly throw a person up into the sky or turn solid ground into a hole.

If human life is to continue existing after death, then a similar arrangement must exist in the non-physical. Incarnation must go to the Father’s house in Teacher thought and translate the Server sequences of the Father into Perceiver places for humanity. Thus, I suggest that one could define heaven as some aspect of the spiritual and/or angelic realms where human-friendly Perceiver facts have been added to the Server sequences of God the Father. Using modern computer language, heaven is like a virtual reality in which disembodied souls live within a computer-generated world.

I am not suggesting that heaven is some Matrix-like artificial world. Instead, I see The Matrix more as a vision of hell, a virtual, artificially generated world for disembodied souls that is not held together by the Server sequences of God the Father, where Incarnation has not created human-friendly Perceiver places. Even the poster for The Matrix gives me the creeps, with its sinister expressions, black clothes, and eyes hid by sunglasses. Instead, my vision of heaven is more like the virtual reality portrayed in the movie What Dreams May Come (though I would not endorse the theology of that movie).

Philip 14:8-11

The next response comes from Philip, who says “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us” (v.8). More literally, ‘teach, demonstrate, exhibit’ to us the Father, and we will ‘be content, satisfied, because it is sufficient’. Philip means ‘lover of horses’, and I have suggested that Philip represents power achieved through organization.

The error of Philip is to think that the character of God can be encapsulated within some form of organization. Philip goes beyond Thomas by recognizing that God is ultimately based in how things work. But Philip thinks that once the character of God has been demonstrated, then this character can be packaged within an organization. Modern scientific thought provides an example of this fallacy, because the search for universal Teacher laws has been turned into the package of scientific methodology. Methodology is good, but Philip is satisfied with methodology because he thinks that it is sufficient.

Jesus answers that Philip is also lacking an experiential knowledge of Incarnation: “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?” (v.9). Peter wanted to follow Jesus instantly. Philip, in contrast, has been with Jesus for a long time. Stated cognitively, the organizational thinking of Philip recognizes the importance of time and sequence. But this has not led to an experiential knowledge of Jesus. That is because the focus has been upon organization and methodology rather than upon personal character. Jesus explains that “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (v.9). The word translated seen often means to ‘see with the mind’. In other words, if Philip had an internal concept of Jesus, then he would also have an internal concept of God.

For instance, modern scientific thought understands the methodology of science quite well. But the average scientist does not have an internal concept of what it really means to think scientifically. Using the language of Thomas Kuhn, the scientist knows how to perform ‘normal science’ in which one uses technical thought to solve technical problems. But when normal science breaks down, then the typical scientist feels lost, because the technical problem solving is not backed up by an underlying understanding of what it means to think scientifically. Because this underlying understanding is missing, many scientists do not really believe that the natural world is ruled by universal laws, instead viewing natural law as a form of symbolic bookkeeping that makes it easier to deal with the complexity of nature. Using the language of John, because the average scientist lacks an internal concept of Incarnation, an internal concept of a God of order and structure is also missing.

In the next verse, Jesus summarizes what we have just discussed: “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?” (v.10). Using scientific language, does not the scientist believe that technical scientific thought occurs within the context of a general paradigm in Teacher thought, and that the purpose of technical scientific thought is to increase Teacher order-within-complexity? The typical scientist thinks that he is applying pure rational thought, but that is not the case. Instead, every technical specialization is held together by the theoretical umbrella of some paradigm in Teacher thought. And the typical scientist thinks that technical problem-solving has nothing to do with emotions, but that is not the case. Instead, technical problem-solving is guided by Teacher emotion to come up with answers that exhibit emotional Teacher characteristics such as simplicity, elegance, or symmetry. Notice the relationship between these two points. The previous paragraph suggested that the technical thinking of science occurs within the framework of the Teacher order of universal general law—incarnation being in the Father. This paragraph goes the other way and suggests that the technical thinking of science is being motivated by Teacher emotions—the Father being in incarnation.

Looking at this second point in more detail, when abstract technical thought works with verbal theory, then Teacher thought is actually generating the words, and these words are performing work as they are being guided by technical thought. In the words of Jesus, “The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works” (v.10). Saying this more technically, abstract technical thought is under the control of Contributor thought, but this does not shut down Teacher thought. Instead, Teacher thought continues to generalize within an abstract landscape that is being manipulated by Contributor logic. This may sound somewhat esoteric, but it is an important principle of intellectual freedom. Thinking rationally does not require shutting down one’s emotions and turning into a version of Spock of Star Trek. Instead, rational thought changes the mental pathways along which intuition travels, making emotionally driven Teacher theorizing compatible with rational thinking. In the words of Jesus, ‘ the Father abiding in Me does His works’. Richard Feynman the physicist described this combination as “imagination in a tight straitjacket”.

If true scientific thought is to continue, a person must hold on to one of two beliefs: “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves” (v.11). The first possibility is to recognize the inherent inter-relationship between technical thought and Teacher understanding. This sounds simple. It is not. Technical thought is typically viewed as something that exists by itself without any form of human emotion, like Data of Star Trek. But technical thought without emotion has no drive to go anywhere; it has no motivation to accomplish anything.

The second possibility is to believe in natural process—that the world naturally behaves in a predictable manner: ‘otherwise believe because the works themselves’. This also sounds simple, but it also is not. As I have mentioned several times, science is often defined now as how a group of scientists behave. In other words, instead of focusing upon how the world behaves, the focus is upon how the scientists behave. This is a typical fallacy of a mindset of Philip, who loves power through organization.

Doing Greater Works 14:12-14

Jesus then describes the personal benefits of combining Teacher understanding with technical thought: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father” (v.12). Jesus is usually viewed as someone who is so holy and unique that no finite human could ever hope to replicate what he has done. But that is not what Jesus says. Instead, Jesus describes his personal actions as an exemplar to follow: ‘the works that I do, he will do also’. However, this is only possible for the individual who ‘believes in me’. An attitude of absolute truth views ‘believing in me’ as following God with such emotional fervor that one knows that these words are true. But we saw when looking at Peter that this will end up denying Incarnation rather than believing in Incarnation. Instead, Jesus is describing what happens when one goes beyond Philip’s approach of viewing incarnation as a set of technical rules and procedures to follow. ‘Believing in me’ means believing in an Incarnation who is guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought and who saves people in Mercy thought. It is this extra dimension that makes it possible for a person to go beyond normal science to enter the realm of the works of Jesus. One is not just discovering how things work, but learning about the character of God the Father. One is not just coming up with new inventions, but rather “being transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Cor. 3:18).

Going further, when Incarnation returns to the Father in Teacher thought, then one can ‘do greater works than these’ because the technical thinking of incarnation becomes combined with the generalizing of Teacher thought. One can see this partially illustrated by modern science. When a Teacher understanding of basic principles of the universe becomes combined with science and technology, then the results can be strange and amazing.

For instance, if gas is cooled down to just above absolute zero, then it enters a state known as a Bose-Einstein condensate, in which many atoms become linked together in a quantum fashion to act like a single large atom. Light that travels through such material can literally be stopped in place for several milliseconds. Bose-Einstein condensate was initially predicted back in 1924 by Bose and Einstein, but it was first created in 1995. Looking at this cognitively, this type of physical behavior utterly violates common sense. But it became doable when technology left the human realm of common sense and became guided by the abstract mathematical equations of Teacher thought. Using the language of Jesus, it became possible to do greater works when Incarnation returned to the Father.

The next statement of Jesus goes even further: “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (v13-14). This verse is one of the proof texts used by those who teach prosperity doctrine. Quoted out of context, it is a spiritual blank check, because Jesus seems to be saying that one can have anything that one wants simply by attaching the magic mantra ‘in the name of Jesus’ onto one’s request. In response, some preachers emphasize that this statement only applies to those whose minds are so full of the word of God that they do not think in terms of personal desire. In the words of John Piper, “Prayer is for God’s name and God’s kingdom and God’s will – it is for fruit bearing in all of those great things… The more we are saturated by the words of Jesus, the more our prayers will be answered.”

Prosperity doctrine treats God like a vending machine, turning the creator of the universe into the servant of childish MMNs. But I suggest that Piper’s interpretation is also inadequate because it views God’s kingdom and God’s will as something that is distinct from personal desire. Instead, I suggest that what is being described here is not either/or but rather both/and.

Jesus has just finished describing what it means for God the Father to be integrated with Incarnation. The next step is to add personal identity. Saying this another way, Incarnation bridges God the Father in Teacher thought with personal identity in Mercy thought. If one wishes to bridge God and man, then one cannot start with personal identity, because childish desires are inherently opposed to the character and will of God, and are incapable of submitting to the kingdom of God. The fundamental error of prosperity doctrine is that it tries to connect untransformed, childish identity with God. Instead, one must start with God the Father in Teacher thought and then descend through the technical thinking of incarnation to humanity. John 14 has been describing this process. Jesus told Peter that he could not follow immediately but that he would be able to follow after. The ‘after’ is now starting to arrive, and it is time to follow. Personal identity now needs to start living within the ‘many dwelling places’ in the Father’s house that have been prepared by Incarnation.

Saying this another way, mental symmetry suggests that the path of personal transformation can be divided into the three stages of constructing a concept of God, following God in righteousness, and personal rebirth. John 14 has been describing the second stage of righteousness. If one wishes to go beyond righteousness to rebirth, then one must extend righteousness to include personal identity. When this point is reached, then the mind will become ‘saturated by the words of Jesus’, but not in the sense of continually quoting verses from the Bible. That is because of the nature and content of God and Incarnation. God the Father lives within general theories and not within specific human experiences. Incarnation also does not live within personal experiences but rather uses technical thought to translate between God in Teacher thought and humanity in Mercy thought. However, humans live within personal experiences and humans need to carry out the role of living within personal experiences. Human desire is not supposed to be submerged at this point but rather needs to fill the vacuum. Stated more simply, a person needs to ask at this point ‘What do I want?’ A concept of God can create an internal home, but personal identity needs to live within this home.

For instance, we looked earlier at how integrated circuits embody the equations of mathematics in concrete form. The factories in which these devices are fabricated are incredible examples of Teacher order-within-complexity. Using the language of Jesus, ‘the Father is being glorified in the Son’, because the technical complexity exhibits great Teacher order-within-complexity. But one does not construct billion-dollar factories merely to be temples of Teacher thought. Past civilizations did expend massive sums to construct temples that illustrated Teacher qualities of order, elegance, beauty, and value. But those temples did not produce anything; they did not benefit mankind in any way. In contrast, billion-dollar factories are constructed to make integrated circuits in order to benefit humanity. For instance, the transistor, which is the fundamental component of an integrated circuit, was invented in 1947. The development of the transistor made it possible to build transistor radios, pocket-sized radio receivers that people could carry around with them. In order to make a transition from transistor to transistor radio, someone had to ask ‘What do people want?’ Using the language of Jesus, people had to start asking in the name of Jesus. This requirement for personal desire can be seen in the language of verse 14: “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do.” The NASB adds the word ‘it’ to the end of the sentence, but that is not in the original Greek. That is because personal identity has to add the ‘it’ to the ‘doing’ of Incarnation.

Spirit of Truth 14:15-17

When personal desire becomes included, then it is possible to degrade into the type of consumer society that we see today, where science and technology are used to satisfy the whims of childish personal desire. For instance, a common joke is that the ultimate purpose of the Internet is to share videos of cats. Technical thought cannot deal with this problem, because a form of thinking that ignores personal desire cannot reform personal desire, and a form of thinking that suppresses a concept of God provides no emotional alternative to the infantile desires of man.

Incarnation can address this problem, because Incarnation extends to include both God and personal identity. The extension to personal identity is seen in verse 15: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” The word keep does not mean do but rather to ‘spiritually guard, or keep intact’. Keep is something which Perceiver thought does, by holding on to Perceiver facts. Keeping the commandments of Jesus means holding on to the Perceiver facts that apply to personal identity. The emphasis today is upon maintaining a good self-image, which is precisely the opposite. Keeping the commandments of Jesus preserves Perceiver facts no matter how they make personal identity feel in Mercy thought. In contrast, maintaining a good self-image adjusts Perceiver facts to ensure that personal identity feels good. The first stays rational, the second rationalizes.

When the battle is between Perceiver truth and Mercy identity, then Mercy identity will have the upper hand, because emotions ultimately take precedence over facts. But when Perceiver truth is backed up by the Teacher emotions of a concept of God as well as the Mercy emotions of receiving what one asks in Jesus’ name, then the battle is no longer between facts and feelings, but rather between adult feelings and childish feelings. That is why Jesus can connect loving him with keeping his commandments. Jesus has talked before in John about keeping his word, but this is the first time that keeping the commandments of Jesus are associated with love, and this connection will be mentioned three more times in the next few verses (v.21, 23, 24). Jesus then mentions the Holy Spirit: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (v.16-17). The word translated ‘Helper’ is paraclete, which means ‘a legal advocate who makes the right judgment call because close enough to the situation’. John is the only New Testament writer to use this term, four times in John 14-16, and once in 1 John 2.

In order to decipher what Jesus is saying, one needs to understand how Platonic forms emerge within the mind. In brief, Platonic forms emerge within Mercy thought as an indirect result of Perceiver facts and Teacher understanding. Using the example of a circle, Perceiver thought comes up with the category of ‘circle’ by noticing that many physical objects have the same characteristic of roundness. Teacher thought then comes up with a general theory that summarizes the essence of roundness. This Teacher theory adjusts Perceiver facts about roundness, causing an imaginary image of the essence of roundness to form within Mercy thought. This imaginary image is a Platonic form. Teacher thought wants a general theory to apply at all times in all places, therefore Teacher thought will look for qualities that are eternal and universal. Teacher thought wants order-within-complexity, which will lead to qualities such as simplicity, purity, symmetry, beauty, and elegance. The end result is that the modified Perceiver facts that emerge from Teacher thought are more true than the original Perceiver facts that came from categorizing Mercy experiences.

John is describing a similar process. The starting point is the content of Incarnation. Incarnation then asks God the Father to give a Spirit of truth to people. Using cognitive language, content is being modified by Teacher understanding to create imaginary images that are more true than facts about reality. These imaginary images of perfection come alongside personal identity, because both Platonic forms and personal identity reside within Mercy thought.

The Spirit of truth is mentioned right after Jesus talks about asking anything in his name and keeping his commandments. Looking at this cognitively, a Spirit of truth can only emerge within Mercy thought if truth is allowed to touch Mercy thought. ‘Asking in his name’ makes personal identity emotionally vulnerable and open to the concept of God and Incarnation that has been developing. Using the analogy of an integrated circuit, the semiconductor foundry opens up a store where customers can browse and purchase integrated circuits. Going further, ‘keeping his commandments’ ensures that this interaction is guided by truth. For instance, integrated circuits function in a manner that is rigorously rational, and the operation of simple digital chips can be summarized through the use of truth tables. If one is to use such circuits effectively, one must think in terms of truth and technical thought; one must ‘keep the commandments’ of incarnation.

A person who has not learned to think in a technical matter will regard integrated circuits as a mystery. Similarly, Jesus says that the world cannot receive the Spirit of truth. More literally, the ‘ordered system of the inhabitants of the world’ does not ‘have the power’ to receive the Spirit of truth, because it neither ‘gazes for the purpose of analyzing’ upon him, nor does it have ‘personal experience’ of him. Saying this cognitively, Perceiver thought is not using the right kind of facts to form the mental concept of a Spirit of truth, while Mercy thought does not have any emotional connection with a Spirit of truth.

What John is describing is quite different than today’s typical concept of spirit. The average person today thinks that one finds spirituality by transcending truth and facts, and that one encounters the spirit by letting go of the commandments of incarnation. It is possible that today’s search for contentless spirituality is occasionally breaking through to an actual spiritual realm. But it is not discovering a spirit of truth, because it is analyzing the world from the viewpoint that truth does not exist, and it recoils from any attempt to impose truth upon personal identity. Saying this more simply, when a Christian says that ‘God loves everyone in a nonjudgmental way’ and ‘do not worry about doctrine and theology, just have a personal experience with God’, then this is not describing the Spirit of truth.

John finishes by saying that “you know him because he abides with you and will be in you” (v.17). The word translated know means to ‘know through personal experience’. One’s personal experience of a Spirit of truth will have two characteristics: First, it will be a lasting accompaniment to personal identity: ‘abide with you’. That is because it is based in Perceiver facts that apply to reality. In contrast, spirit today is not viewed as a constant companion, but rather as something that one encounters occasionally by stilling the mind of personal activity. Second, it ‘will be in you’. A Spirit of truth is internally generated as internal Teacher understanding modifies internal Perceiver facts. In contrast, spiritual encounters are typically achieved today through the use of external aids, such as candles, crystals, breathing techniques, and physical stillness.

Verse 17 describes the helper as ‘the Spirit of truth’, while verse 26 refers to the helper as ‘the Spirit the Holy’, using the definite article twice. Holy means ‘set apart’. I suggest that there is a cognitive reason for this distinction, which was initially described by Plato. In simple terms, Plato suggested that Platonic forms have their ultimate source in a form of the Good. Looking at this cognitively, a Platonic form emerges when Teacher thought looks for the essence of some Perceiver category. But Teacher thought is emotionally driven to come up with general theories that summarize the essence of less general theories. As Teacher thought continues to theorize and generalize, this will indirectly cause Platonic forms to coalesce within Mercy thought, leading to increasingly abstract and universal Platonic forms. Instead of thinking merely of perfect circles, one will think of concepts such as justice, equality, or beauty.

If Teacher thought comes up with a universal understanding, then this will cause a universal form of the Good to emerge within Mercy thought which ties together all other Platonic forms. In the words of Wikipedia, “Plato suggests that justice, truth, equality, beauty, and many others ultimately derive from the Form of the Good.” Wikipedia also describes the role that a universal Teacher understanding plays in creating the form of the Good: “Aristotle along with other scholars sees the Form of the Good as synonymous with the idea of One… According to this philosophy, in order for an object to belong to the Form of the Good, it must be One and have the proper harmony, uniformity, and order to be in its proper form.” Cognitively speaking, I suggest that the form of the Good describes a mental concept of the Holy Spirit. Because this is a universal concept that ties everything together, it is a concept of God. And because a concept of the Holy Spirit emerges after concepts of God the Father and Incarnation have formed, the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Trinity.

Summarizing, I suggest that the Spirit of truth mentioned in verse 17 describes the mental bricks from which the internal structure of a concept of the Holy Spirit emerges, as mentioned in verse 26. The intervening verses describe the integrating process by which a Spirit of truth turns into a concept of the Holy Spirit.

Verse 17 says that the world lacks the power to receive the Spirit of truth. One can see this in Plato’s description of the form of the Good. Wikipedia points out that “Plato’s Form of the Good does not define things in the physical world that are good, and therefore lacks connectedness to reality. Because Plato’s Form of the Good lacks instruction, or ways for the individual to be good, Plato’s Form of the Good is not applicable to human ethics since there is no defined method for which goodness can be pursued.” Using the language of John, Plato’s form of the Good is not a method of ‘gazing for the purpose of analyzing’, because it has nothing to do with physical reality. And one cannot have a ‘knowledge through personal experience’ of the form of the Good because Plato says that goodness does not affect personal identity in any moral fashion. In other words, Plato accurately described the form of the Good, but he lacked the power to use this to analyze reality or transform identity.

Absolute truth will also lead to an incomplete form of Platonic form. Studying the words of some holy book will cause Platonic forms to emerge within Mercy thought. But these Platonic forms will have nothing to do with reality, because they come from theorizing about special words that come from an emotional source which is distinct from the experiences of normal reality. For instance, Bible dictionaries will often illustrate biblical passages with pictures from the Middle East. But these will invariably be images of how the Middle East used to look when the Bible was being written, featuring scenes such as camels led by Bedouin past date palms. The modern Middle East with its cars, trains, planes, and skyscrapers will not be portrayed. This illustrates the kind of Platonic forms that emerge when the Bible is studied as absolute truth. These Platonic forms will be idealizations of back-then and over-there, which have no connection with the experiences of here-and-now.

Not Left as Orphans 14:18-20

Returning now to John 14, Jesus says that “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also” (v.18). The term ‘orphans’ is significant, because the Platonic forms of the Spirit of truth will mentally displace MMNs of social status and authority. Instead of being mentally ruled by MMNs of authority, Mercy thought will become ruled by Platonic forms of truth and justice. The most important MMNs of authority within the average person’s mind are the MMNs that represent father and mother, because these MMNs develop early in life and are based in extensive emotional interaction. Therefore, when MMNs of authority begin to be replaced by Platonic forms, one will feel emotionally as if one is an orphan who has been abandoned by parents. Jesus adds that ‘I will come to you’. Saying this cognitively, MMNs of personal authority will be replaced by the mental concept of Incarnation as an invisible person. Evangelical Christianity talks a lot about Jesus as an imaginary friend, and I suggest that an imaginary concept of Jesus does emerge when a person ‘asks Jesus into your heart’. But the typical Christian’s mental concept of Jesus tends to be heavily shaped by MMNs of culture, religious experience, and religious authority. In contrast, what is being described here is a mental concept of Jesus that matches the Jesus that we have been seeing portrayed in the Gospel of John.

Going further, when a general Teacher theory modifies Perceiver facts, then this causes a person to see the world through a different set of cognitive glasses, because Mercy experiences are literally being organized in slightly different ways. Thomas Kuhn referred to this as incommensurability. Jesus describes emerging incommensurability: “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me” (v.19). Both occurrences of the word translated see mean ‘to gaze on it for the purpose of analyzing’. In other words, diverging Perceiver categories will cause the disciples and the world to see different things, even when looking at the same experiences. The disciples will see Incarnation, while the world will see nothing.

For instance, I am reading the same Bible that the theologian or churchgoer reads. But what I see in the Bible is quite different than what the average theologian or churchgoer sees, because I am viewing the text through a different set of Perceiver facts. I now see the Gospel of John as a highly technical description of cognitive processes, focusing upon the process by which humanity becomes ruled by a concept of Incarnation that descends from God. In contrast, the average person reads the gospel of John and sees moral tales interspersed by mystical allusions to man’s relationship with God.

Finally, Jesus talks about mental networks: “because I live, you will live also” (v.19). The word translated life is zoe, which refers to ‘both physical and spiritual existence’. When Mercy thought is ruled by MMNs of personal status, then a person is not free to be fully alive, because MMNs of authority are continually attempting to impose their structure upon personal identity. Using the language of Higgins’ theory of selves, the actual self struggles with the ought self. When these MMNs of social authority become replaced by Platonic forms, then personal identity can become fully alive, because a person no longer feels continual pressure from others to behave in some manner. This feeling of personal freedom only becomes possible when MMNs of authority are replaced by the MMN of a concept of incarnation. Personal identity will then become internally ruled by a different kind of authority. That is because a concept of incarnation interacts differently with personal identity than MMNs of authority. MMNs of authority try to overrule MMNs of identity: Instead of being myself, I will be what I feel my parents want me to be. Incarnation, in contrast, thinks in terms of salvation: How can personal identity be transformed from its current condition into a better condition. Instead of feeling that I have to be someone else, I will feel motivated to be a more complete and competent expression of myself. This transformation will be guided by Platonic forms, which express ideals in simple, general terms. For instance, instead of feeling that I have to be a medical doctor like my father, I will want to be a person who extends mercy and grace to others, regardless of my occupation. Using the language of John, I will have internal life because incarnation has internal life within my mind.

Jesus then mentions the connections that are required to turn a spirit of truth into a Holy Spirit of God: “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (v.20). The term day means ‘the period from sunrise to sunset’, which implies that a general Teacher theory is illuminating existence. Similarly, ‘I am in My Father’ indicates that the specializations of technical thought are being placed within a general Teacher understanding of God the Father. The personal side is also now present because ‘you are in me and I in you’. Looking at this cognitively, there is an emotional interplay between MMNs of personal identity and the concrete side of technical thought. On the one hand, technical thought is improving personal identity, while on the other hand MMNs of personal identity provide the context within which technical thought functions. Using a home as an illustration, technical thought is like the husband going around the house fixing problems and making improvements, while personal identity is like the wife turning the house into a home within which the husband can live.

What was stated in the future tense in verse 15 is now repeated in the present tense in verse 21. “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me.” That is because a relationship now exists between concrete technical thought and personal identity. This relationship is maintained by having and holding onto the commandments of Incarnation. Verse 15 talks only about guarding the commandments of Incarnation, while verse 21 talks about both having them and guarding them. I suspect that this is because an interaction between incarnation and personal identity is now happening at the emotional level of mental networks. The temptation is to forget about the commandments and focus upon the emotions, but mental networks require content. The content may be implicit but it is still present, and this content needs to be preserved to make sure that it does not fade away.

Jesus then talks about legitimately gaining the emotional benefit that mysticism attempts to achieve through the shortcut of overgeneralization and identification: “he who loves Me will be loved by My Father” (v.21). ‘Loved by my Father’ describes an emotional relationship between God in Teacher thought and personal identity in Mercy thought. John 3:16 talked in general terms about God loving the world, and John has talked several times about God loving Jesus, but this is the first time that John talks about God loving individual believers, and this phrase is repeated in verse 23. Notice that God is not ‘unconditionally loving every Christian’. That is the feeling of love that is produced by a God of overgeneralization. Instead, God is loving those who love Incarnation by having and keeping his commandments.

Looking at this in more detail, Teacher emotions and Mercy emotions are not naturally compatible. I know this from personal experience because my mother is a Mercy person and my oldest brother is a Teacher person, and I have seen how difficult it is for these two different kinds of feeling to coexist. Teacher thought will naturally regard childish Mercy identity as chaotic, irrational, lawless, inconsistent, destructive, inelegant, and unreliable. Teacher thought can now love Mercy identity because identity now lives within the structure of incarnation which is itself an expression of Teacher understanding. It needs to be emphasized strongly that Teacher thought is not coldly rational. It is emotionally repulsed by the chaotic, lawless, inelegant, inconsistent behavior of childish identity. Similarly, ‘being loved by the Father’ is not a coldly rational checkmark of approval, but an emotional attraction. This type of emotional love from the Father will not happen if personal identity is submitting to the rules of incarnation in some cold, logical fashion. Instead, it will emerge when personal identity loves the rules of incarnation, because it is the love of Teacher traits such as order, structure, beauty, consistency, and elegance that will cause Teacher thought to open up emotionally and become vulnerable in the presence of personal identity. (Notice that all of these Teacher traits exhibit order-within-complexity.)

Theoretical Return of Jesus 14:21-23

Matthew 24 and parallel passages describe the dismantling of the stones of the Temple. If stones represent truth, then dismantling the stones of the Temple symbolizes the tearing down of religious absolute truth, which describes one of the prominent trends of present society. Matthew 24 ends by describing what I call the theoretical return of Jesus. That is because everything happens within the ‘air’ of Teacher theory and the effect on humanity is emotional and not physical. Similarly, our discussion about Peter’s denial has also focused upon replacing absolute truth with something better.

This does not mean that the theoretical return of Jesus will be purely cognitive and emotional. Instead, I suggest that it will open up a door to the nonphysical realm. Consistent with this, our discussion of the Gospel of John from this point on will go beyond the cognitive to include the supernatural. In fact, some readers may feel that my interpretation of John 15-17 focuses too much upon the spiritual and the supernatural. I suggest that this is the result of having a concept of God that is too mystical. We talk in overgeneralized terms about God being unrestricted by natural law and able to do anything, but when it comes to adding details to this overgeneralized statement, then we think and act as if only physical reality exists, and we feel uneasy when someone talks too much about the spiritual and the supernatural. Confirming this suspicision, the charismatic Christian who talks a lot about the spiritual and the supernatural tends to lose touch with the hard facts of physical reality. In contrast, the next few pages will attempt to examine how a theoretical return of Jesus would really function, including the impact that this would have upon society.

Going the other way, discussing the spiritual and the supernatural does not eliminate the cognitive perspective or remove the need for personal transformation. On the contrary, going beyond the physical to the spiritual and the supernatural eliminates the external crutches that are used to avoid facing the cognitive or going through personal transformation. And these cognitive principles do not just apply to some future time of supernatural intervention. Instead, cognitive principles apply at all times, because they describe the inescapable structure of the human mind, which is a reflection of the immutable character of God. The primary difference is that one can currently choose to ignore these cognitive principles—for a while, while dealing with these principles will be inescapable in the future.

The end of John 14 appears to be describing such a theoretical return. Verse 21, which we already partially discussed, says that “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” ‘Loved by my Father’ tells us that something new is being done by God in Teacher thought. The verb disclose is also suggestive, because it means to ‘exhibit, declare, appear in person, to make visible’.

One can tell that this verb is significant because Judas picks up on this word and asks Jesus to clarify. “Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?’” (v.22). The word translated happened means ‘come into being, be born, transition from one condition to another’, which implies that some sort of transition is occurring.

The name Judas means ‘praise’. John points out that the question is being posed by the other Judas who is not Judas Iscariot (Iscariot means ‘of the city’). Thus, one is dealing here with a form of praise that is more genuine than the more sophisticated urbane and insincere praise of Judas Iscariot. One occasionally sees this when Christian praise and worship has its better moments. The fundamental assumption of praise is that one can cheer from the sidelines. One can watch others do something wonderful and yell ‘Go Team!’ as one sits in the bleachers. Judas is noticing that something strange is happening. Praise is not working, because what is being disclosed to the participants is not being disclosed to the observers. It is as if the crowds on the bleachers cannot see what is happening to the players on the field.

Jesus clarifies by describing a theoretical return of Christ: “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him’” (v.23). People are holding on to the word of Incarnation, telling us that the focus is upon rational Teacher thought. God the Father and Incarnation are then responding by coming to these people and abiding with them. This word means ‘an abiding dwelling-place (i.e. not transitory)’ and is only used twice in the New Testament. The first time is in John 14:2, where Jesus says that his Father’s house has many permanent dwelling places. In verse 23, God the Father and Incarnation are finding a permanent dwelling place with those who love the word of Incarnation. Jesus contrasts this with those who do not hold onto the word of Incarnation: “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me” (v.24). Jesus emphasizes in this statement that he is describing a universal law of God the Father.

Looking at this more generally, one of the problems of technology is that gadgets can be separated from people. For instance, an invention can be stolen from the person who invented it and marketed by someone else. Similarly, technological devices can be bought and used by people with no technical aptitude. This type of separation is inherent to scientific thought, because science tries to separate the study of the natural world from the person of the researcher. However, when gadgets become sufficiently complicated, then one must connect devices with people. For instance, airplanes must be flown by trained pilots, who have acquired the skill of flying a plane. However, this connection can still be temporarily broken, because it is possible for an untrained individual to slip into a cockpit and attempt to fly an airplane.

Incarnation avoids this problem, because incarnation extends technical thought to include a concept of God in Teacher thought as well as personal identity in Mercy thought. The idea of God living with people has lost its meaning because of mysticism. When the mystic says that he is ‘one with God’, he really means that he occasionally experiences a few minutes of spiritual ecstasy in which he has the feeling of being united with God. In order to have a mystical experience, one must mentally let go of all content—one must not keep the words of Incarnation. In contrast, Jesus says here that God the Father and Incarnation will make their lasting abode with those who do keep the words of Incarnation.

One can illustrate what this means by examining the role that universal Teacher theory and abstract technical thought play in science. In brief, technical understanding makes technology possible. Technological gadgets do their ‘magic’ by following the universal laws of nature in highly technical ways, as one can see by looking at magnified images of computer chips. The order-within-complexity is mind-boggling.

Spiritual Technology 14:24-31

The rest of this essay will attempt to explore what will happen in the future. This is normally done by extrapolating from the present. For instance, one set of pictures drawn in 1900 predicted that in the year 2000 the sky would be filled with blimps and everyone would wear hats. People did not realize in 1900 that the blimp would soon be replaced by the airplane, and that hats would eventually fall out of fashion. In other words, most predictions about the future end up being inaccurate because they do not take paradigm shifts into account. Developing the theory of mental symmetry has caused my mind to undergo a major paradigm shift, and I have discovered that the Bible makes eminent sense when approached from a cognitive perspective guided by the theory of mental symmetry. This gives me some confidence that it may be possible to predict what will happen in the future without being proven totally wrong. However, even if these predictions turn out to be accurate, there is still the related problem of trying to explain these predictions to readers who have not experienced this paradigm shift, a problem that becomes much worse when one is discussing theology. Thomas Kuhn says that when a paradigm shift occurs, then words acquire slightly different meanings, and a person views the world through slightly different cognitive glasses. Therefore, the rest of this essay will be somewhat convoluted because it will be necessary to explain language and explore connotations.

The laws of nature are universally accessible to everyone. That is because the universal theories of God the Father and the technical thinking of Incarnation are embedded within the fabric of the universe. In contrast, it appears that spiritual laws are only accessible to an individual to the extent that God the Father and Incarnation have come to dwell with that person. If normal technology descends from objective science, then one concludes that there must be a form of spiritual technology that descends from Incarnation. The primary characteristic of spiritual technology would be that technology could not be separated from personal maturity, because personal transformation would make it possible to access the spiritual laws.

This may sound like a strange concept, so I would like to introduce the idea of spiritual technology by looking at what Paul says in Ephesians 3. We will look at this passage in some detail because it summarizes what will be discussed in John 14-15: “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father [of our Lord Jesus Christ], from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:14-20). (I have added the phrase ‘of our Lord Jesus Christ’ because it is in some original manuscripts and is consistent with the rest of the passage.) (Note from 2023: The beginning of Hebrews 2 also refers to spiritual technology.)

Paul is describing a personal version of the path that science takes when translating mathematical equations into society-transforming technology. We will look first at the scientific version of this path, because this is the version that society has already experienced: 1) Believe that the natural world is ruled by universal laws in Teacher thought. 2) Recognize that these universal laws need to be understood using the technical thinking of incarnation. (The relationship between the technical thinking of science and a mental concept of incarnation is explored in another essay.) 3) Use the words of mathematics to express these universal laws and describe natural processes. 4) Allow this abstract theory in Teacher thought to form internal images within Mercy thought of how the world could be. 5) Use the technical thinking of incarnation to figure out how these internal images could be turned into real machines and gadgets. 6) Form a community of trained individuals who can combine their understanding and expertise to construct machines and mechanical processes. 7) Use these machines to transform aspects of the physical world. 8) Continue applying technology to various aspects of the world until a technological society emerges. 9) This process will lead to results that exceed what anyone originally expected. 10) This process is limited by the skill and expertise of people.

Turning now to the personal version of this path described by Paul: 1) Believe that the personal world is ruled by universal laws in Teacher thought that describe the character of God (‘bow my knees before the Father’). 2) Recognize that these universal laws need to be understood using rational thought (‘of our Lord Jesus Christ’). 3) Use the words of a rational understanding to express these universal laws and to describe the character of all forms of thought, behavior, and culture (‘from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name’). These first three steps summarize what I have been attempting to do using the theory of mental symmetry. 4) Allow this abstract theory in Teacher thought to form internal images within Mercy thought of how people and society could function (‘through his Spirit in the inner man’). 5) Use an understanding of cognition to figure out how this internal vision of a new and better society could be turned into real steps of action (‘Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith’). Steps four and five summarize what the essays on the New Testament have been attempting to portray, because I have been interpreting entire books as step-by-step descriptions of God’s plan to save individuals and society. This is as far as one can go as an individual because the next step explicitly describes a community.

6) Form a community of transformed individuals who can cooperate to function in a new manner that expresses incarnation (‘with all the saints’). Science studies natural processes and technology transforms the physical world. Therefore, a scientific community can cooperate externally to conduct experiments and construct machines. The personal version of this path functions internally within the minds of individuals. Therefore, Incarnation has to live internally within peoples’ hearts. In the original Greek, the word ‘hearts’ is in the plural, as well as the verbs rooted, grounded, and fully comprehend, indicating that this is happening at a group level. 7) Start transforming various aspects of society (‘know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge’). The words translated know and knowledge both mean ‘experiential knowledge’. Thus, existing experiential knowledge is being replaced by a surpassing form of experiential knowledge that comes from Incarnation. Surpassing means ‘to throw over or beyond’, which implies reaching a new destination by traveling through the ‘air’ of Teacher thought. 8) Continue transforming society until a new spiritual society emerges (‘filled up to all the fullness of God’). 9) This process is enabled by God who has the power to do exceedingly above what people can ask or think (‘Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think’). 10) This divine power is channeled through transformed individuals (‘according to the power that works within us’).

Because of the extensive parallel between the path followed by science and technology and the personal path described by Paul, I am using the term spiritual technology to describe the aspect of the personal path that corresponds to technology. And because both the scientific path and the personal path were created by the same God, I suggest that this spiritual enabling will become intertwined in some manner with technology. Step 5 talks about Christ dwelling in your hearts, and the word dwell means to ‘settle down as a permanent resident’. Therefore, this step probably corresponds to the theoretical return of Jesus, and we will see that John 15 describes the succeeding steps of building a new community.

One might think that I am reading too much into Ephesians 3, but Paul precedes the passage that we have just examined by saying ‘for this reason’, and the first 13 verses of Ephesians 3 can only be described as cosmic in their scope. For instance, Paul talks in verses 4-5 about “the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men”. Verse 8 describes bringing “to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things”, and verse 11 adds that “this was in accordance with the eternal purpose which he carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Thus, I suggest that it is entirely appropriate to view Ephesians 3 as a description of a new expression of Incarnation. This chapter is traditionally interpreted in theological terms as something that happened invisibly in heaven at the physical resurrection of Jesus. That may be theologically true, because Jesus fully carried out God’s plan of incarnation from God’s perspective. However, what has been experienced in human reality so far is only a faint shadow of Paul’s grandiose description. Thus, either the Bible does not mean what it says, or else Paul is describing a transformation that will affect human society at some future date.

Because technology transforms the physical world, one can participate to some extent in this transformation by purchasing technological gadgets without having a mental grasp of science or technology. In contrast, the personal version that Paul is describing transforms people and results in the power of God being transmitted through people. Returning now to John 14, one can see why Judas would complain that Jesus is revealing himself to the disciples and not to the world. Spiritual power would not be a spectator sport, because the power would only work through those in whom God and Incarnation are dwelling. It appears that Jesus himself was subject to this limitation because Mark says that when Jesus came to his own hometown, “He could do no miracle there except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He wondered at their unbelief” (Mark 6:5-6). This limitation appeared to be at the group level, but one also notices Jesus consistently asking individuals if they wanted to be healed, implying that free will and mental networks have the power to either thwart or encourage spiritual power.

I am not referring to ‘words of faith’ in some ‘name it and claim it’ fashion. Instead, I am suggesting that in the same way that the technical Teacher theories of science led eventually to the personal benefits of consumer technology, so a rational understanding of God the Father and Incarnation will lead eventually to the personal benefits of some sort of spiritual technology. However, I suggest that it will not be possible to separate the person from the gadget with spiritual technology the way that it is possible to do so with consumer technology. Saying this more bluntly, with consumer technology, marketers can steal inventions, and idiots can use toys. But with spiritual technology, inventions that are stolen would stop working, and idiots would find that their toys do not function. This already happens to some extent with technical gadgets. One thinks, for instance, of those who buy expensive computers and use them to play solitaire and send emails, because they do not know how to do anything else.

This idea of spiritual technology needs to be developed further, because it may bring to mind books such as the Harry Potter series, in which magically talented children go to special schools to study magic. One of the primary shortcomings of the Harry Potter universe is that there is no correlation between magical ability and personal character. Instead, one is born with magical talent, and one can choose to use this ability for good, evil, or entertainment. I noticed when reading this series that each volume was darker, more violent, and more evil than the previous one. And this is not just my impression. “According to Rowling, a major theme in the series is death: ‘My books are largely about death. They open with the death of Harry’s parents. There is Voldemort’s obsession with conquering death and his quest for immortality at any price, the goal of anyone with magic. I so understand why Voldemort wants to conquer death. We’re all frightened of it.’” Rowling says that her books have a moral message: “Rowling said that, to her, the moral significance of the tales seems ‘blindingly obvious’. The key for her was the choice between what is right and what is easy, ‘because that … is how tyranny is started, with people being apathetic and taking the easy route and suddenly finding themselves in deep trouble.’” This is an important principle. However, the morality is still being attached to a universe of magic that is inherently amoral. One can still perform an unforgivable killing curse by yelling ‘avada kadavra’ with sufficient skill. In contrast, my understanding of spiritual technology is that the general laws would only continue to work for those who have the required moral character.

One could describe this as a theoretical return of Jesus because it would be driven by the personal application of a general understanding of God and Incarnation by many individuals. The average person would be able to comprehend this Teacher understanding, and would also see indirectly the benefits of applying this understanding. However, unlike a Harry Potter universe, the very structure of this theoretical return would contain morality, because those who had insufficient moral character would lack personal access to this power. Using the language of Harry Potter, it would be impossible to maintain a house of Slytherin. The very existence of spiritual technology would bring personal condemnation to outsiders, and many of them would respond by lashing out at these ‘goody two-shoes’ whose presence was making them feel morally inferior. Again using the language of Harry Potter, the House of Slytherin would feel morally condemned by the House of Gryffindor, because magic would thrive under Gryffindor, while sputtering to a stop under Slytherin. Such a backlash will be seen at the end of John 15.

Going further, it is only possible to describe spiritual technology within the context of some sort of return of Jesus because spiritual technology does not currently exist, and it would only start to exist if God the Father and Incarnation came to dwell with followers in a manner that does not currently happen. God must open a door to spiritual power that is currently either closed or only open a crack. This does not mean that spiritual technology would be some sort of random effect, as if a group of people inexplicably acquired an urge for dill pickles. Instead, spiritual technology expresses the desire to experience a fuller version of personal transformation. Saying this another way, the cognitive principles that would guide spiritual technology already exist, but they have not yet been spiritually empowered. Those who have been personally transformed already experience a filling of the Holy Spirit to some extent, but this is a limited filling that enables a person to think and behave in a transformed manner, but does not transform either the physical body or physical reality. This limited expression means that those who are currently being transformed by the Holy Spirit will naturally feel a deep longing to experience this transformation in a fuller manner. Charismatic Christianity is driven by this longing, and it is possible that miracles do occasionally occur within charismatic circles. But charismatic Christianity has not succeeded in transforming the physical world or physical body in any repeatable or systematic manner, partially because it is not based upon a rational integrated understanding of Christianity, and partially because God has not opened such a door to the spiritual realm. I am using the term spiritual technology to emphasize that this extension of personal transformation will not be an expression of random magic, as the typical charismatic Christian regards miracles, but rather a rational expression of personal transformation. (Charismatic Christianity is examined in other essays.)

Looking at this from a larger perspective, many non-Christian books on spirituality emphasize that the spiritual realm is governed in a systematic manner by universal laws. However, as is the case with charismatic Christianity, these ‘spiritual laws’ are not being placed within the framework of a systematic rational understanding of Christianity and personal transformation. The book of Revelation describes the foundational steps that must be taken if spiritual technology is to emerge: First, an integrated rational Christian understanding needs to be developed, as described in Revelation 10. Second, this verbal understanding needs to go beyond mere words to personal transformation, as described in Revelation 11. Third, God and Incarnation must open the door to the spiritual realm, as described at the end of Revelation 11. Fourth, all existing spiritual powers must be brought under the integrated authority of God and Incarnation, as portrayed in the war in heaven described in Revelation 12. This will lay the foundation for spiritual technology, which appears to be described at the end of Revelation 12.

This longing for a more extensive impact upon physical existence is described by Paul in Romans 8: “For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:19-23). Whether Paul is referring specifically to spiritual technology, something that goes beyond spiritual technology, or to a process of transformation that starts with spiritual technology, Paul is describing the essential elements that give birth to spiritual technology: Followers of incarnation are being internally transformed and they are experiencing the firstfruits of the spirit, which causes them to groan within themselves to experience these benefits more fully in the physical body as well as within physical creation.

We saw earlier that Teacher thought helps incarnation to expand beyond the technical thinking of some specialization. This explains why Jesus had to submit to the will of the Father in the Garden of Gethsemane. If faith in God was to extend beyond the Jewish people, then Incarnation had to follow the path of God the Father and go through death and resurrection. It appears that a similar expanding is occurring in verses 25-26: “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” God the Father is setting up a better system of learning by sending the Holy Spirit. Jesus is teaching his disciples while abiding with them. But the Holy Spirit will teach all things, as well as bringing to mind what Jesus has taught.

One can understand what this means by looking at cognitive styles. The Contributor person likes to think that he is an original thinker, but that is usually not the case. Instead, Contributor-controlled technical thought is best at improving and perfecting ideas and objects. The Teacher person is best at coming up with original ideas, and the Mercy person is best at coming up with original experiences. Similarly, the teaching of Incarnation is being improved by having the Father in Teacher thought send the Holy Spirit in Mercy thought. Technical thought is not being abandoned, because the Father is sending the Holy Spirit in the name of Incarnation, and the Holy Spirit is bringing to mind what Incarnation has taught. Using the words of Richard Feynman the physicist, this is leading to ‘imagination in a straitjacket’. The MMNs of the Holy Spirit are providing the imagination, but this ‘visualization’ is being guided by the technical content of Incarnation.

Looking at this more technically, the Holy Spirit makes it possible to flip the direction of mental thought. Instead of starting with a general theory of God-the-Father in Teacher thought, one is beginning with a general concept of God-the-Spirit in Mercy thought. If the Holy Spirit really is an expression of God-the-Father and God-the-Son, then this will lead to the same content—viewed from a different perspective. And because the supernatural appears to be the mirror-image of the physical, when one flips mental directions, then one will naturally start to encounter the supernatural. This interplay between God-the-Father and God-the-Spirit through God-the-Son can be partially seen in modern research and development. Abstract theory leads to the development of new concrete technology, which leads to further abstract theory, and so on. These two interact via the technical incarnational thinking of science.

For instance, this essay on the Gospel of John contains a number of original ideas. My thinking is being guided by the theory of mental symmetry in Teacher thought. This theory has been gradually fleshed out by using it to analyze many fields with as much technical rigor as I can manage. The original ideas come from placing Mercy imagination within the straitjacket of this theoretical structure and giving it the freedom to imagine, pursuing questions such as ‘What would it be like to live in a world guided by mental symmetry?’ or ‘What are the requirements for programming the human mind?’ and ‘Could a mind that is whole live by a different set of rules?’ However, I have not been imagining in order to fantasize about alternate reality. Instead, my primary motivation is personal survival. I am being driven by the TMN of mental symmetry to think and behave in a way that is consistent with Scripture, but inconsistent with the spirit of this world. Therefore, my theoretical understanding is driving me to turn to the God of the Bible for personal salvation, so that I can live in a world guided by mental symmetry. The alternative is to turn my back upon the theory of mental symmetry and shrivel up inside, in order to survive in a world that is increasingly turning blatantly insane. I used to read science fiction and fantasy—a common trait of the Perceiver person. I now find that my internal vision of living within mental symmetry is more attractive than anything that the world—or the fantasies of the world—has to offer. Three factors, each related to one person of the Trinity, help me to remain sane in an insane world. First, my Teacher understanding continues to grow. I find that it is very important for my mental well-being to make some progress each day with the theory of mental symmetry. Second, I can find enjoyment in the development of science and technology, which is a partial expression of incarnation. Third, I have friends who are following a path of personal transformation in Mercy thought. I may not be able to talk about mental symmetry with all of these friends, but we still share a common bond of paying the personal price that is required to be transformed into the image of Christ.

One gains the impression that questions such as these are being raised when God the Father and Incarnation come to dwell with humans in verse 23. Jesus mentions these topics in the next verse: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (v.27). The word translated peace means ‘wholeness, when all essential parts are joined together’. Jesus says that his followers are finding wholeness in a way that is different than the method of the world. A transition is occurring within Mercy thought, because people’s hearts are troubled, the same term used when Jesus was going through cognitive shifts. And something new and strange must be happening within Mercy thought because Jesus says that people should not allow their hearts to fear. The word translated fear means ‘to be timid, living in dread’. When this verb is used as an adjective, it ‘is always used negatively in the New Testament and refers to an excessive fear, causing someone to be fainthearted or cowardly in following Christ’. This reinforces the idea that new spiritual doors have opened, the followers of Incarnation are afraid to walk through these doors because they threaten Mercy thought, and Jesus is telling his followers to find wholeness in Incarnation.

Verse 28 describes technical thinking being expanded by Teacher thought: “You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” Incarnation is leaving, but this is emotionally a good thing, because God the Father will expand Incarnation. And in verse 29, Jesus predicts that something new is coming into being: “Now I have told you before it happens, so that when it happens, you may believe” (v.29). The word translated happens is the same word that was used by Judas in verse 22, and it means to ‘come into being, or be born’.

Jesus has talked about a new form of learning, guided by the Holy Spirit. In verse 30, Jesus says that Incarnation with its technical thought will no longer be the dominant method of education: “I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.” Notice the parallel between this verse and verse 22. in verse 22, the Father and Incarnation reveal themselves to followers but not to the world in general. Here, a ruler of the world is coming who has no hold over Incarnation. In other words, a polarization is occurring between following the Holy Spirit and submitting to the ruler of the world. Jesus is responding to this conflict by following the instructions of God the Father. This happened literally when Jesus-the-man went through crucifixion in order to obey the Father, but I suggest that this is also referring symbolically to a period of societal polarization triggered by the theoretical return of Jesus.

The last sentence of the chapter reinforces the idea that a new culture is emerging: “Get up, let us go from here” (v.31).

The Vine 15:1-11

Chapter 15 opens with the parable of the vine. I suggested that a theoretical return of Jesus occurs at the end of John 14, leading to the emergence of spiritual technology. The parable of the vine describes the characteristics of such a spiritual technology.

Jesus begins by saying that “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser” (v.1). Wine represents culture. Wine comes from grapes, which grow on a vine. This means that God the Father and Incarnation are causing a culture to emerge. This culture is based upon the structure of Incarnation, and is being shaped by God the Father. This is consistent with the idea that when God the Father and Incarnation come to dwell with people, this results in the opening of spiritual doors that make a new society possible.

Teacher thought wants rules to apply without exception. Therefore, when God the Father comes to live with people in order to produce a culture, then God will want cultural results to emerge without exception. This principle is being applied at the level of individuals: “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away” (v.2). And it is also being applied within the mind of each individual: “every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit” (v.2). The word translated prunes means ‘cleanse, purify, eliminating what is fruitless by making unmixed’. This describes Teacher thought eliminating all exceptions to the universal rule. In other words, those who are incapable of generating spiritual technology are being removed, while those who can generate spiritual technology are being purified so that they can generate more fruit.

I think that this is related to the lack of faith described in Mark 6:5-6, which limited Jesus from performing miracles in his hometown. A similar concept can be found in UFO literature: Supposedly, UFOs cannot openly invade human space as long as the general human consensus is that UFOs do not exist. Applying this to John 15, lack of faith would act as a bottleneck that would restrict the flow of spiritual technology. God the Father is pruning human branches in order to eliminate these bottlenecks and increase the flow of spiritual technology. Saying this more cognitively, those who are practicing spiritual technology must allow their minds to be ruled completely by the TMN of a concept of God and incarnation that combines technology and spirituality. UFO researchers, despite their limitations, are being dragged in this direction. Science, in contrast, adamantly insists that only technology exists, guided by the TMNs of scientific materialism. Most spirituality today insists equally strongly that technology is completely distinct from spirituality, guided by the societal split between objective and subjective. Spiritual technology would only flow freely within a mind that was committed completely to a mindset of technology-and-spirituality, which would require becoming mentally free of the assumptions of either technology-without-spirituality or spirituality-without-technology.

Jesus points out that this is happening within the general context of being cleansed by the word of Incarnation: “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (v.3). And the word translated clean is the same Greek word used for ‘prune’ in verse 2.

Unlike normal technology, which is based upon laws of nature that apply equal to everyone, spiritual technology requires a personal relationship with Incarnation: “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me” (v.4). The word translated abide is the same word used to describe God and Incarnation abiding with individuals in John 14:24. Jesus clarifies in verse 5 that branches refer to individual people: “I am the vine, you are the branches.” He explains that this new culture depends upon a personal relationship between Incarnation and personal identity: “he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit” (v.5). And without this personal relationship, the spiritual technology does not work: “for apart from me you can do nothing” (v.5). More literally, you lack the power to do anything.

Those who lack this personal relationship with Incarnation will lose the ability to generate the liquid of experience and will be rejected: “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up” (v.6). Jesus adds that “they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned”(v.6). Gathering implies using Perceiver thought to form categories. Fire is energy and light that comes from consuming matter in a destructive manner. This suggests a temporary expression which does not last. One sees this, for instance, in the typical charismatic renewal which flares up and then dissipates, consuming rational thought in a destructive manner. This same metaphor can be seen in the phrase burned-over district. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The term was coined by Charles Grandison Finney, who in his 1876 book Autobiography of Charles G. Finney referred to a ‘burnt district’ to denote an area in central and western New York State during the Second Great Awakening. ‘I found that region of country what, in the western phrase, would be called, a “burnt district.” There had been, a few years previously, a wild excitement passing through that region, which they called a revival of religion, but which turned out to be spurious... It was reported as having been a very extravagant excitement; and resulted in a reaction so extensive and profound, as to leave the impression on many minds that religion was a mere delusion. A great many men seemed to be settled in that conviction. Taking what they had seen as a specimen of a revival of religion, they felt justified in opposing anything looking toward the promoting of a revival.’ These spurious movements created feelings of apprehension towards the revivals in which Finney was influential.”

Technology does not negate personal free will. The function of a gadget is guided by the Teacher laws of nature, but a person can still choose how to use technology, guided by personal desire in Mercy thought. Jesus says that something similar applies to spiritual technology: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (v.7). The phrase translated ‘it will be done for you’ is more accurately ‘it will come into being for you’.

Jesus does not tell people to ask only for their needs, and he also does not tell them to ask for anything. Instead, he tells them to ‘ask whatever you wish’. The temptation for the untransformed mind is to ask God to satisfy childish MMNs. In the words of James, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3). More literally, “you ask ‘badly, evilly’, so that you may waste and squander on your hedonism”. However, when one is guided by the TMN of a concept of God, then the primary temptation is to suppress personal desire in order to focus emotionally upon God in Teacher thought. When the mind reaches this stage, then one needs to live within transformed MMNs by ‘asking whatever you wish’. Saying this more simply, when children argue, they will say things like: ‘You do the dishes! I do not want to do the dishes.’ The goal is to satisfy childish MMNs. In contrast, adults will argue by saying things like ‘I will do the dishes. You do not need to do the dishes’. Here, the tendency is to suppress personal MMNs.

Using biblical symbology, God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Abraham represents the first stage of leaving the world. Abraham left the Sumerian civilization in order to live in tents, and the temptation for him was to drag his relatives along from Ur, or to find comfort in the civilization of Egypt. Thus, Abraham had to leave the world completely. Jacob represents the third stage of returning to the world. The temptation here is to follow the path of Esau who denied his birthright, rather than the path of Jacob who wrestled with the angel in order to receive a blessing.

Teacher thought wants a general theory to apply to as many specific situations as possible. One can tell that this new culture is an expression of Teacher thought because bearing the fruit of cultural MMNs glorifies God the Father: “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit” (v.8). And this will cause disciples of Incarnation to ‘come into being’ (v.8). One sees a partial illustration of this with modern technology. The more that people develop and use technology, the more obvious it becomes that the natural world is governed by Teacher thought, and using technology causes a new class of people to come into being who are followers of technical thought.

This leads eventually to an emotional attraction that is like the relationship between Teacher understanding and technical thought: “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love” (v.9). Again one can see a partial illustration with modern technology. People literally love new gadgets, similar to the way that science is emotionally guided by the mathematical laws of nature in Teacher thought. Loving gadgets often turns into a form of idolatry because current technology is impersonal. However, spiritual technology would add the personal element and place everything within an understanding of God the Father.

This new culture eventually develops to the point where it is maintained emotionally by mental networks: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (v.10). This new culture will continue to exist if people hold on to the technical thinking of incarnation. Applying this to modern society, a technological society can only continue to exist if the average person remains sufficiently technologically literate. Jesus emphasizes that the relationship between abstract technical thought and universal understanding in Teacher thought is similar to the relationship between concrete technical thought and personal experience in Mercy thought. In the same way that the technical thinking of science is emotionally supported by TMNs of scientific paradigms, so the technical application of spiritual technology would be emotionally supported by MMNs of transformed personal identity.

The end result is the Teacher emotion of joy: “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (v.11). The word translated joy is ‘another feminine noun from the root xar- which means to extend favor, lean towards, be favorably disposed’. (Xaris is the word for grace.) In other words, joy is the Teacher emotion that a person senses as a result of experiencing grace from God in Teacher thought, which is what this passage has been talking about. The word translated made full means to ‘fill to individual capacity’. Teacher thought wants a rule to apply without exception. If something is filled to capacity, then there is no exception to what fills the container.

One obvious question is how this culture of spiritual technology would relate to the church. I have not looked at all of the New Testament references to the church in the light of spiritual technology. However, my guess is that all biblical references to the church would be applicable to the group of individuals who are practicing spiritual technology. Going the other way, one can state with considerable certainty that the current Christian church would only be one aspect of a more general movement that is pursuing spiritual technology. I say this for two reasons.

First, many within the current Christian church are firmly convinced that God and Jesus have nothing to do with either rational thought or technology. Such branches would be unfruitful and end up being thrown away by the Father. This does not necessarily mean that these individuals would be condemned to hell, but rather that they would follow the path of today’s typical charismatic renewal, by becoming part of movements that consume themselves and destroy Teacher understanding in the process. Looking at this another way, they would be part of the crowd in heaven described in Revelation 14:3 that is unable to sing the new song. 1 Thessalonians 4 adds that this crowd in heaven will not remain left behind, but will eventually become able to sing the new song.

Second, the spiritual door that would enable spiritual technology has not yet been opened. Christians may talk about miracles, but supernatural events are currently rare exceptions to the rule and not expressions of a higher rule. Because of this closed door, the current Christian church can at best function as a simulation of a culture of spiritual technology, by applying personally and cognitively the principles of personal transformation. Saying this more clearly, spiritual technology would not involve the introduction of any new Christian doctrines. The same Christian principles of personal transformation would apply. However, following these principles currently leads only to a transformed mind, while under spiritual technology, following these principles would lead to a transformed mind and also to some sort of reproducible, analyzable spiritual power.

Summarizing, I know that the parable of Jesus-as-the-vine is usually interpreted in some spiritual fashion as a description of religious self-denial. After all, verse 5 says that ‘apart from me you can do nothing’. But I do not know of anyone who actually lives as if Jesus does everything and they do nothing. Some people go beyond such an interpretation to recognize that it is possible for MMNs of personal identity to depend upon an understanding of God and Incarnation, and I suggest that this is a valid interpretation. However, such an interpretation turns this passage into an ideal that is preached but never fully realized in practice. So far, our analysis of the Gospel of John has attempted to analyze all the passages using consistent symbolism without explaining anything away. If one approaches the beginning of John 15 with this attitude, then what emerges is a clear description of spiritual technology, something that is like current technology but goes beyond it by including the subjective and the spiritual.

Daniel 9:24 predicts that Messiah will ‘finish the transgression’, ‘make an end of sin’, and ‘bring in everlasting righteousness’. Those are strong words, and one finds equally strong words in the beginning of John 15. What has been experienced thus far in Christianity does not match these words. If these words are to be translated into reality, then personal righteousness will have to be embedded within the very fabric of how things work. And that describes some form of spiritual technology.

Peter also describes this kind of reality in 2 Peter 3: “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:11-13). Several things are apparent from this passage. The existing fabric of existence will be destroyed, and will be replaced by a new fabric of existence within which righteousness is embedded. Personal character will play an essential role in both living in this new reality and ‘hastening its coming’. This new fabric of righteousness will be related to a general understanding of God—a ‘day of God’. My guess is that Peter is portraying what will come about later on in the book of Revelation. However, I think that John 15 is describing the first stage of this unveiling.

Love One Another 15:12-17

The emphasis so far has been upon the relationship between individuals and Incarnation, ensuring that people are living as fully as possible within this new culture. The focus now turns to the relationship between individuals: “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you” (v.12). Previously, Jesus told others to abide in his love. Here, he is telling people to love one another. This love between people is supposed to follow the pattern of love that was originally established by Jesus. The order is important. Before people can love one another, they first have to become capable of loving one another, and they have to know what it means to love one another.

Loving one another would acquire a deeper meaning under spiritual technology. That is because different individuals would literally have different access to the power of God based upon personal character. For instance, instead of having a profession of doctor or baker, one would have a spiritual gift related to healing or spiritual food. Loving one another would go beyond words and deeds to sharing aspects of life itself.

Jesus describes the greatest kind of love: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (v.13). This is normally interpreted as dying physically on behalf of others. But the word translated life is psyche, which refers to the life of the soul and not necessarily to physical life. Stated cognitively, one is laying down personal mental integration in order to become integrated at a larger level with other individuals. The reason for such love is obvious. If one wants to participate in spiritual technology, then one must have a personal character of righteousness. One becomes righteous by acting in an altruistic manner, following a TMN of God rather than following MMNs of personal identity. This laying down of self is not for one’s enemies but rather for one’s friends, so that one can participate more fully in the new spiritual economy. Saying this another way, researchers cooperate within an academic community in order to construct a larger and more complete Teacher understanding. Similarly, one would cooperate spiritually in order to construct a larger and more complete economy of agape love, with love being defined as intelligent, mutually-beneficial, interpersonal interaction guided by Teacher understanding.

One becomes a friend of Incarnation by adding Server actions to an understanding of Incarnation: “You are My friends if you do what I command you” (v.14). This relates to the principle of Jesus telling people to perform actions when he healed them on the Sabbath. When God works in a righteous manner, then human action in Server thought must be added to the work of God in Teacher thought. Simply talking is not enough instead, one must also do.

This will lead to a new relationship between Incarnation and individuals, in which people become the partners and friends of Incarnation: “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (v.15). The word translated know means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’. In other words, until now people have obeyed Incarnation guided by internal principles. These internal principles will lay the foundation for a new set of mental glasses that is used to interpret the new empirical evidence provided by spiritual technology. This will lead to intelligent participation, in which individuals understand what it means for Incarnation to come from the Father. That is because those who wish to participate in a spiritual economy must personally follow the path of descending from Teacher understanding through technical thought to personal experience. In simple terms, they will understand what Jesus did because it will resonate with their personal experience.

However, Incarnation still plays the controlling role of choosing and placing: “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you” (v.16). On the one hand, Incarnation is still in control, because Contributor thought is the part of the mind that chooses, and Incarnation is still choosing and placing. But on the other hand, Incarnation is not choosing in order to control people, but rather to improve people, so that they produce lasting fruit. And personal free will is still present, because individuals are supposed to ‘ask whatever’. But this asking is of the Father in the name of Incarnation. Using technology as a partial example, one can use technology to make anything one wishes, as long as one uses the technical thinking of technology to apply the universal Teacher laws of science.

Jesus concludes by commanding again that people should love one another (v.17). In other words, the goal is not to save individuals, but rather to save individuals in order to form a new society. Notice the order: first individuals and then society. Jesus does not command his followers to love outsiders who are not part of this community, but rather to love one’s friends. This may sound at first glance to be a form of tribalism, but I suggest that this is not the case. When the mind is ruled by MMNs, then there is a natural tendency to love ‘us’ and hate ‘them’ in a tribalistic manner. But the goal here is to replace such a mindset with one that is guided by the TMN of concept of God. At this point loving outsiders is both counterproductive and pointless, because outsiders are following childish MMNs that are fundamentally incompatible with the TMN of a concept of God. However, if the TMN of a concept of God is expressed through spiritual technology, then these new experiences in Mercy thought will naturally attract outsiders and demonstrate to them the personal benefit of being ruled by a TMN of God.

One sees this partially illustrated by science and technology. Most academic interaction happens within academia, because those who lack education are usually unable to discuss theoretical topics in an intelligent fashion. Interdisciplinary research is helpful, because one is interacting with individuals who know how to think rationally. But discussing scientific research with outsiders is generally both counterproductive and pointless, because outsiders lack the mindset that is required to analyze information adequately. However, this does not stop people from wanting to become scientists. Instead, people want to get a university education, because science has transformed the world through technology, allowing people to see and experience the practical benefits of scientific thought.

Hated by the World 15:18-19

In verse 17, Jesus commanded his followers to love one another. In verse 18, Jesus talks about being hated by the world: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you” (v.18). The word translated hate means to ‘love someone or something less than something one were something else, to renounce one choice in favor of another’. Using cognitive language, the mind is being driven by core mental networks to reject one alternative in favor of another. Notice that Jesus does not focus upon MMNs of hatred but rather emphasizes Teacher understanding by explaining that this hatred is a predictable response. Looking at this in more detail, the word translated ‘hate’ could describe a moderate version of hatred in which one prefers one alternative to another. However, the word ‘hate’ is used three times in two verses, and it is contrasted with the word ‘love’, which implies that the response is going beyond mere reference to active dislike. And in verse 20 this dislike progresses to active persecution, which definitely goes beyond mere preference.

Jesus explains the basis for this hatred: “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you” (v.19). Saying this cognitively, the world is driven by some worldview, composed of a set of core mental networks. Those who think and behave in a manner that is consistent with this worldview are automatically accepted. However, those who follow Incarnation are being mentally ruled by a new set of core mental networks, which is causing them to be instinctively rejected by the world.

This has happened historically when a group of people has followed Jesus to the extent of allowing their beliefs to change their personal behavior. This leads to standard feelings of tribal xenophobia in which ‘We hate them because they are different than us’. But an additional moral component is added when ‘they’ are morally superior to us, because ‘their’ behavior makes ‘us’ feel bad. One can see these two factors in the hatred of Arab nations for Israel. Some of this hatred—on both sides—is driven by the xenophobia that incompatible cultural MMNs engender. But there is also a moral aspect to this hatred, because Israel is a small non-Muslim country that lies in the midst of a group of Arab Muslim nations. And in most cases Israel is economically, politically, educationally, and militarily superior to the surrounding nations, which provides a strong counterexample to the Muslim teaching that Islam is a superior religion and that all countries should be governed by Islam. I should emphasize that Israel provokes a mixed reaction of xenophobia and moral superiority in its neighbors because Judaism applies an incomplete version of rational thought, stretching forward from tribalism to monotheism. This is discussed further in the essay on Kabbalah.

I suggest that spiritual technology would trigger an especially strong version of this response. One can explain what is happening by looking at Revelation 13 as well as 2 Thessalonians 2. in Revelation 12, the appearance of a woman clothed with the sun leads to a war in heaven. The dragon is cast down out of heaven while a place of refuge is found for the woman. Interpreting this symbolically, a breakthrough in the heaven of Teacher thought leads to the birth of a new culture based in the TMN of a Teacher understanding. However, this is then followed in Revelation 13 by the appearance of the dragon and the two beasts.

My feeling is that spiritual technology would not lead immediately to hatred. Instead, there would be great initial interest which would then be followed by hatred, similar to the way that visiting a new culture is initially exciting and fun, but eventually leads to culture shock. In other words, spiritual technology would first develop and mature, as portrayed by the parable of the vine in the beginning of John 15, and this would then provoke a response of hatred from the world, as described at the end of John 15.

My hypothesis is that the dragon and the two beasts represent a false Trinity. This is a fairly common interpretation. Instead of God the Father, there is the dragon of Teacher overgeneralization as interpreted by a ruling elite. Instead of Incarnation, there is objective science and technology used for competition, warfare, and domination. And instead of the Holy Spirit, there is a general feeling that love can be achieved if one ignores factual content and accepts everyone without condemnation. As 2 Thessalonians 2 emphasizes, this mystery of lawlessness is already at work in the world, but it currently functions as a set of implicit assumptions that have not yet been openly challenged.

Before we go further, I should emphasize that we are looking at two groups of people with two different concepts of God. The parable of the vine describes what is happening to the group that is pursuing spiritual technology. Spiritual technology can only emerge if three requirements are met: First, a rational understanding of God and incarnation must be formulated. Second, a group of people must allow this rational understanding to transform their personal identities. Third, God and incarnation must open the door to spiritual technology by coming to dwell with this group of transformed individuals. We are now turning our attention to those who are not pursuing spiritual technology. They may be theoretically aware that a rational understanding of God and incarnation has been formulated, but they have not followed the path of allowing this understanding to transform their minds. This second group will feel like outsiders, and this experience of being excluded from the latest and greatest will cause a concept of God to emerge within the minds of this second group of outsiders. Looking at this second group more personally, most scientists currently wax eloquent about the progress of evolution, because humans are at the top of the evolutionary scale. However, if spiritual technology emerged, then objective, materialistic scientists would feel that others were evolving while they were being left behind.

Spiritual technology would openly contradict these three assumptions. First, the fundamental assumption of Teacher overgeneralization is that a mystical concept of God cannot be subdivided into more specific traits. A concept of God emerges within Teacher thought when a sufficiently general theory applies to personal identity. Spiritual technology would cause a new concept of God to emerge, because a group of people would be governed by a new set of universal laws in Teacher thought. It would become obvious that God is interacting with this group of people in a different way than he interacts with the world at large, contradicting the fundamental assumption of mysticism, which is that the oneness of God cannot be subdivided in any way, shape, or manner.

Second, the fundamental assumption of the false Incarnation is that the technical thinking of science and technology must be kept distinct from a TMN of God as well as from MMNs of identity. Spiritual technology would openly demonstrate that one can only use the technical thinking of incarnation if one submits to a rational concept of God and applies truth to personal identity. The typical scientist would feel like an intelligent fool, because the contrast between objective brilliance and subjective immaturity would become apparent. Jesus describes this feeling in the Sermon on the Mount.

Third, the false Holy Spirit teaches that love means ignoring all content and accepting people unconditionally. In contrast, spiritual technology would make it clear that love cannot be divorced from personal content, because those who lacked the personal content of personal transformation would be unable to participate in the love of spiritual technology.

I have become convinced that only spiritual technology will succeed in challenging the false Trinity of the dragon and the two beasts. That is because I have attempted to challenge the assumptions of the false Trinity using everything short of spiritual technology, and each attempt has been successfully ignored or suppressed. I should add that the type of divine judgment that one sees portrayed in the Left Behind series is not the solution, because this does not question the basic assumptions of the false Trinity. First, Christian believers are praying for magical help from a transcendent God in heaven. Second, God is using normal technology to rain physical terror upon the physical earth. Third, Christian believers are being raptured to heaven regardless of personal maturity. People like reading about this kind of ‘seven year tribulation’ because it does not demand character transformation and leaves the false Trinity in power. Spiritual technology, in contrast, would challenge the false Trinity and as a result would also lead to deep hatred from the world.

When one experiences such hostility, then the temptation is to descend to the level of personal MMNs: ‘Why are they hating me?’ Jesus emphasizes the Teacher characteristics of generality and domain: “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master’” (v.20). In other words, who is one’s master in Teacher thought? What general theory is one a slave of?

Before we continue, I should emphasize that spiritual technology would not mean turning into cyborgs. For a cyborg, the source is technology. Technology is physically attached to the human body, reducing a human to the level of a machine. For spiritual technology, the source would be spirituality. Personal transformation would make it possible for a person to add spiritual power to technology. Instead of reducing humanity, this would enable humanity as well as elevating technology. This is hard to imagine because the current world is heading in the direction of creating cyborgs, while spiritual technology would only become possible if God and incarnation chose to dwell with a group of followers. These two are fundamentally different at the level of core mental networks. I personally find the idea of becoming a cyborg to be abhorrent, because it violates my life goal of rising beyond the physical environment to become an integrated spiritual being who reflects the character of God. Going the other way, I suspect that spiritual technology would motivate many people to become cyborgs, because it would allow them to experience some of the benefits of spiritual technology without having to pay the price of personal transformation. However, it would eventually become apparent that pursuing such a shortcut to superhuman abilities would be deeply dehumanizing.

Persecuted by the World 15:20-27

The response of the world then graduates from hatred to persecution: “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (v.20). The word translated persecute means ‘to aggressively chase, like a hunter pursuing a catch. It is used positively as earnestly pursue, and negatively as zealously persecute and hunt down’. This type of aggressive response will be triggered when a general Teacher theory experiences exceptions to the rule, because there will be a strong emotional drive to eliminate such exceptions. Spiritual technology would introduce a major exception to the universal Teacher theories of scientific materialism, similar to the way that existing science would be threatened if UFOs or angels ever appeared openly. The implication is that people are not being rejected or accepted for personal reasons, but rather because they do not belong to the right system—they do not worship and serve the false Trinity. Those who persecute the system of Incarnation will also persecute those who belong to this system, and those who hold on to the Teacher words of Incarnation will also accept the words of those who belong to this system. This implies that many who follow science and technology will follow this new movement of God while many ‘spiritual’ Christians will reject it. That is because the science and technology follow to some extent the technical thinking of incarnation, while many Christians talk about following Incarnation but have no concept of technical thought. (Note from 2023: This section may correspond to Hebrews 2, which refers to a backlash against spiritual technology from society.)

The next verse tells us explicitly that the real battle is occurring within Teacher thought: “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me” (v.21). People are rejecting the name of Incarnation in Teacher thought. This is because they do not have a ‘seeing that leads to knowing’ of the source behind the name of Incarnation. Saying this cognitively, they are looking at technical thought through the wrong kind of mental glasses. They do not realize that technical thought extends beyond the purely physical to include the spiritual and the supernatural. They think that objective technology is normal, while regarding spiritual technology as strange. Instead, what we currently call technology should be seen as an incomplete expression of spiritual technology. This explains why only some who currently follow science and technology will become part of the new movement.

Technology does not exist by itself but rather is an expression of the general theories of science. When abstract technical thought becomes combined with concrete technical thought, then it becomes possible to translate the general theories of science into the concrete objects of technology. Similarly, spiritual technology will not exist by itself, but rather will be an expression of general verbal theories in Teacher thought, translated by the integrated technical thought of incarnation. This relationship can be seen in the next verse: “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also” (v.22-23). If people were just rejecting disconnected experiences in Mercy thought, then there would be no guilt. But what is being rejected is Mercy experiences that are the expression of technical thought based in Teacher theories. Therefore, hating spiritual technology will mean hating God in Teacher thought.

Saying this more simply, when a miracle is presented as a random act of God that contravenes the universal laws of nature, then it makes sense for a scientist to reject the idea of miracles in order to hold on to the concept of universal law in Teacher thought. However, if it becomes clear that so-called miracles obey their own set of universal laws that can be described using technical thought, then those who reject miracles will also be rejecting the concept of a rational God in Teacher thought.

Going further, if nothing new was happening, then there would be no guilt in rejecting Incarnation. But something new is happening that has never happened before: “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well” (v.24). Incarnation is performing works that no one else has done. People have ‘seen with the mind’ and have chosen to hate Incarnation. And because spiritual technology is a practical expression of a concept of God in Teacher thought, rejecting the new acts means rejecting God in Teacher thought.

To some extent these statements apply to the teachings and miracles of Jesus portrayed in John 1-12. But John 15 is describing a reaction that will apply to a group of people in the future, because Jesus emphasizes in verse 20 that others will be treated the way that he was treated, and in verse 21 he specifically talks about others being mistreated for the sake of Jesus’ name.

I hope that it is becoming clear why I use the term spiritual technology. Miracles are typically viewed as magic, in which God intervenes in some personal, non-technical manner to overrule the universal, technical laws of nature. In contrast, spiritual technology describes the application of a new set of universal laws that become enabled when individuals submit to the technical thinking of incarnation. This does not mean reducing God to the level of some formula, because that assumes that the technical thinking of incarnation can be separated from personal maturity. Instead, I suggest that spiritual technology describes doors to non-physical realms being opened at great personal cost. There is a saying in charismatic Christian circles that ‘your anointing can take you to a place where your character cannot sustain you’. With spiritual technology, the character would enable the anointing. Submitting mentally to a rational concept of God in Teacher thought would provide the character, while a real God coming to live within this mental concept of God and Incarnation would provide the anointing.

Revelation 13 makes it clear that the dragon and two beasts are not functioning independently of God. Instead, verse 5 says that ‘authority to act for 42 months was given’ to the first beast, verse 7 says that authority is given to this beast ‘to make war’, and in verse 15 says that ‘it was given to [the second beast] to give breath to the image of the beast’. Why would God permit such hatred and persecution to occur? I suggest that the answer lies in the beginning of John 15. God is acting as the Vinedresser who is taking away branches that do not bear fruit and pruning those that do in order to generate more fruit. Looking at this cognitively, if people get culture shock when moving to a different society that is governed by different MMNs of culture, imagine the emotional shock of entering a different realm governed by new TMNs of universal law. A ‘carrot’ of personal benefit would probably only suffice to motivate a few people to walk through a door into an unknown world. In order to maximize the response, this carrot of personal benefit would have to be accompanied by a substantial stick of persecution from society at large. Using an analogy, the average person will not jump off a ship into the ocean, but many people will jump off a burning ship into the ocean.

The sequence of events in Revelation 13 is curious. In verse 15, the antichrist is causing “as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.” One gains the impression that this ‘final solution’ is not succeeding, because in verse 16 everyone, regardless of personal status, is being given a mark of the beast. Obviously, not everyone is submitting to this system of absolute control, because in verse 17, those who do not have the mark of the beast are being prevented from buying or selling. Reading between the lines, one gains the distinct impression that an underground economy is gradually coming into existence, based upon spiritual technology. (Note from 2023: The backlash in Revelation 13 comes from a supernaturally enabled beast. John 15 is probably referring to an earlier backlash from existing science and religion against the initial appearance of spiritual technology.)

1 John 3 appears to be describing this same period. Verse 10 says that it will become obvious who are the children of God and who are the children of the devil, based upon practicing righteousness and loving one’s brother. Verse 12 then talks about Cain killing his brother because “his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous”. Verse 13 says that this hatred will become pervasive: “Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you”. And verse 16 echoes John 15:13 by talking about laying down one’s life for the brethren (referring like John 15 to soul life rather than physical life). Verse 17 then specifically describes an underground economy: “Whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” The phrase ‘the world’s goods’ is more literally the biological needs of this world system. In other words, spiritual technology may start out as primarily spiritual, but rejection from the world at large will force this to expand into an entire new economy that includes all of a person’s needs stretching from spiritual to physical.

Returning to the Gospel of John, Jesus concludes by turning the focus of attention away from feelings of personal rejection in Mercy thought to general understanding in Teacher thought: “But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘They hated Me without a cause’” (v.25). People are not acting randomly. They are not evil monsters. Instead, they are responding in a predictable manner that is part of the plan of God in Teacher thought. Going further, concrete technical thought thinks in terms of cause-and-effect. If the hatred is ‘without a cause’, this means that it is being driven purely by abstract technical thought with its Teacher emotions. Thus, Jesus is not just saying that one should focus upon Teacher understanding rather than Mercy hurt. Instead, the hatred without a cause will force people to turn to Teacher thought in order to understand what is happening instead of focusing upon specific motivations in Mercy thought.

The chapter ends by referring again to the Spirit of truth, but this time a personal element is added, because of the personal experiences that followers have had following the path of Incarnation: “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me, and you will testify also, because you have been with Me from the beginning” (v.26-27). Saying this another way, what people have experienced personally is resonating with what they are seeing internally through Platonic forms. The Spirit of truth will testify about Incarnation, and people will also testify. To some extent this already happens with those who are sincerely following Jesus, because one can already experience to a certain degree the benefits of personal transformation in the present world. But in the same way that Christians in persecuted countries often have a depth of Christian belief that makes Western Christianity look two-dimensional, so I suggest that the personal experiences of spiritual technology will lead to a depth of Christian belief that will make current Christianity look two-dimensional.

Excommunication 16:1-4

Chapter 16 begins by describing the religious side to this backlash: “These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling” (v.1). The word translated stumbling means ‘to set a snare or stumbling block, to give offense’. If there is a danger of stumbling, then this tells us that core mental networks are being triggered and threatened. Jesus is trying to prevent stumbling by providing the TMN of an understanding.

The next verse tells us that basic concepts of God and religion are being overturned: “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue” (v.2). Those who follow Incarnation will be excommunicated from places of worship. The underlying assumption is that being excommunicated has spiritual significance. Posing this more simply, if religious leaders declare that someone cannot enter a holy building, does this have any bearing upon that person’s eternal salvation? A mindset that is based in MMNs of religious status will think that it does. This includes those who believe in a God of mysticism, because a mystical God acquires its content implicitly from religious leaders who claim to speak for God. For instance, the Catholic Church teaches that bread and wine are transubstantiated into the actual body and blood of Christ. If this is true, then being excommunicated from the Catholic Church actually means being excluded from receiving Christ through the Eucharist.

When a follower of God is excommunicated from the church, then this will trigger any residual MMNs of religious status. If one equates God with the church, then the tendency will be either to feel that one is being rejected by God or to reject the Christian faith in which the excommunicating church claims to believe. That is why Jesus warns against stumbling. The solution is to mentally separate God and Christianity from the human leaders and groups who claim to practice Christianity.

Spiritual technology would provoke such a response from church-based religion. For instance, suppose that some members of a church congregation gained personal access to spiritual technology. What they were doing in practice would make the official rituals of the priests look ridiculous and meaningless. Using an analogy, why would one want to watch a movie of heaven if one could actually start to live within heaven on earth? Obviously, those who produced such ‘movies’ could only protect their religious status by pronouncing the condemnation of hell upon those who were beginning to live within a real heaven on earth. (Note from 2023: This section may correspond to the religious transformation described in Hebrews 3.)

I know from personal experience what this feels like, because I have often felt excommunicated by Christian leaders. When one is in such a situation, one has to ask at a very deep level what it means to be saved. Does being saved mean experiencing the official approval of religious leaders, or does it mean experiencing personal salvation? Does one submit to what religious leaders say that the Bible says, or does one follow what the Bible actually says? It is only possible to evaluate such questions if Perceiver thought wakes up from the mesmerism of blind faith. Otherwise, rejection from religious leaders will cause one to doubt what one sees and reads. One will tend to feel ‘Who am I to think that I can think for myself?’ The way out is to recognize that words and experiences have meanings that are independent of personal status. If I am experiencing long-term personal benefits by following the path of incarnation, then this is a fact that is independent of what people say. Similarly, if the Bible continues to make sense when I study it, then this is also a fact that is independent of what people say.

Following the Bible rather than religious leaders is not a step that should be taken lightly, because it is possible that one’s understanding of the Bible is mistaken. Therefore, I suggest the following steps: First, check the biblical text carefully, looking at the original Greek or Hebrew in context, considering related passages. Second, examine implicit mental networks. Is Scripture being interpreted in a certain manner because of personal experience or cultural practice? One should examine both one’s own mental networks, as well as the mental networks of the religious leaders who are making the statements. For instance, the doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture is suspect because it is an expression of the personal lifestyle of John Darby, who popularized this doctrine. Third, place the scriptural doctrine within the context of the TMN of an understanding of the character of God, so that one follows the Bible in an intelligent fashion. Finally, if one still thinks that religious leaders are making statements which are inconsistent with the content of the Bible, then one must not take the negative approach of attacking the incorrect doctrine, but rather the positive approach of following God rather than men. One should always submit to a higher rule rather than rebel from authority.

Jesus says that the situation will get even worse: “an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God” (v.2). Jesus does not say that there will be a bloodbath of killing. Instead, he is describing the prevailing attitude that will govern society during some period of time. Logically speaking, it does not make sense that killing apostates would be a service to God. First of all, why would the creator of the entire universe need—or even want—help from puny little me? Second, why would the creator of all life be pleased by the destruction of life? However, this kind of mindset will naturally emerge when fundamentalism becomes threatened. One can see this illustrated by the Muslim suicide bomber. Islam teaches an attitude of blind faith, in which one submits to the arbitrary decisions of a transcendent God. Fundamentalism claims to preach absolute truth about God, but this truth is actually based in the writings and pronouncements of religious leaders with emotional status. That is why the Shahada, the Muslim statement of faith, combines a pronouncement of monotheism with a statement of respect for the prophet of God: “There is no god but God. Muhammed is the messenger of God.” If truth is ultimately based in Mercy status, then one protects truth by imposing Mercy status, and the strongest way to impose Mercy status is through murder. Going the other way, it also does not make sense to preserve Christianity by invading Muslim countries, because a military invasion will also implicitly teach the message that Christian faith is imposed by using killing to impose Mercy status. In this case, the juxtaposition is between God and country: ‘There is no God but the Christian God. America is the messenger of God’. (In the 1800s, Britain regarded itself as the messenger of the Christian God, while in the Middle Ages, European Christendom took on the role of messenger of the Christian God and defender of the Christian faith.)

Saying this cognitively, absolute truth is based in religious people and experiences that are regarded as special and different than normal life. Spiritual technology would create an alternative set of special people and special experiences, which would become an existential threat to the attitude of absolute truth. Truth itself does not change, but the mindset of fundamentalism would feel deeply threatened. How could a believer in absolute truth regard Jesus and Moses as special if people in the present were using spiritual technology to generate experiences like those performed by Jesus and Moses? (Remember that Jesus said that his followers would do even greater works than he because he was going to the Father.) If absolute truth is based in Mercy status, then doubt can be eliminated by reinforcing Mercy status, and the most effective way of reinforcing Mercy status is by killing those who are sources of alternate truth. Saying this more simply, if all truth comes from some messenger, then one can get rid of false truth by killing false messengers.

The underlying problem is a lack of understanding of God and Incarnation: “These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me” (v.3). People may be mouthing theologically correct doctrines about God and Jesus, but they do not have an experiential knowledge of God and Incarnation. One can comprehend what this means by looking again at the term ‘spiritual technology’. What type of emotional response do these two words provoke? Does it feel as if spiritual has nothing to do with technology? But Paul talks in 1 Corinthians 15 about natural bodies and spiritual bodies, and he says that “if there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” (15:44). My body connects me with the physical world. Similarly, technology connects science with the physical world. Paul is saying that if a natural body exists, then there is also a spiritual body. Similarly, I am suggesting that if technology exists, then there is also spiritual technology. If the technical thinking of science can transform the world of objects through technology, and if Incarnation extends the technical thinking of science to include God and people, then it makes sense that technology could also be extended to include God and people, leading to some form of spiritual technology.

Jesus concludes by saying that this mindset of animosity will only last for a period of time: “These things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour comes, you may remember that I told you of them. These things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you” (v.4). Reading between the lines, one gets the impression that the disciples cannot imagine such hatred occurring. Similarly, if someone had told me twenty years ago that American evangelical Christians would support, and continue to support, a president who violates almost every Christian virtue, I would not have believed it. Quoting from the Christianity Today article, President Trump “has given no evidence of humility or dependence on others, let alone on God his Maker and Judge. He wantonly celebrates strongmen and takes every opportunity to humiliate and demean the vulnerable. He shows no curiosity or capacity to learn. He is, in short, the very embodiment of what the Bible calls a fool.” Why do evangelical Christians support Trump? As this article explains, one of the major reasons is that Trump speaks the language of absolute truth; he believes that strong Mercy emotions define Perceiver truth.

Jesus adds that he did not say this at the beginning because he was with his disciples. My guess is that ‘being with you’ refers to ‘having a personal relationship with Jesus’. Evangelical Christianity illustrates that a fundamentalist belief in God and the Bible can lead to a personal relationship with Jesus. This is something valuable that needs to be protected. But spiritual technology will lead to a concept of Incarnation that is far more extensive than any evangelical concept of ‘Jesus in your heart’, similar to the way that encountering someone in person is far more extensive than reading a few letters from that person. (Notice that I said more extensive and not different.) When this happens, then I suggest that the gut response from fundamentalist Christianity will be similar to what is happening today, but even more intense. And that will force everyone to rethink what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus, because a significant portion of those who claim to have such a relationship will behave in a manner which demonstrates that there is no relationship between their personal character and the personal character of Jesus.

Culture of Spiritual Technology 16:5-11

The next section elaborates upon what it means for Incarnation to return to God: “But now I am going to Him who sent Me” (v.5). Literally speaking, this would refer to Jesus physically dying and then returning to heaven. And if science had existed during the time of Jesus, then my guess is that the symbolic interpretation also would have involved Jesus physically dying and returning to heaven.

But if one examines this within the historical picture of Christianity, then one can see that spiritual technology would cause a concept of ‘Jesus in your heart’ to be replaced by a concept of Incarnation as the Son of God being expressed through spiritual technology. Saying this more clearly, evangelical Christianity teaches the concept of Jesus-as-man living as an imaginary person within Mercy thought. But it also teaches that Jesus-as-God is an incomprehensible mystery. Science has a concept of Jesus-as-God, but it refers to this as Nature and refuses to recognize it as the mental concept of a living person. Spiritual technology would smash through these misconceptions, replacing Nature with a concept of Jesus-as-God and then descending through spiritual technology to create a mental concept of Jesus-as-God-become-man—the concept of Incarnation that is portrayed in John 1-12. Because of this order, the response of hatred would first come from those who build their minds upon the materialism of ‘the world’, and then spread to those who believe in absolute truth, as described in the previous verses. That is because spiritual technology would initially challenge the materialistic mindset of the world while eventually overwhelming the existing religious concept of ‘Jesus in your heart’.

Jesus adds that no one is curious about where he is going: “None of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart” (v.5-6). In John 14:4-5, Jesus said that his followers knew the way where he was going, and Thomas responded by asking how one could know the way if one did not know the place. Here, Jesus specifically refers to place and not way, and yet no one is asking questions.

I suggest that there is a cognitive reason for this. In John 14, Thomas wanted to ask about place because he was thinking in terms of human places; he had acquired his Perceiver facts from physical reality. Jesus had to remind Thomas to think instead in terms of Server path, acquiring Server sequences from God through righteousness. Now in John 16, spiritual technology is starting to create a new set of Perceiver facts that do not come from just physical reality. This means that Incarnation can offer Perceiver facts, and it also means that the disciples do not want these Perceiver facts because they are strange and unfamiliar. Saying this another way, spiritual technology is causing a form of culture shock, and people who are in culture shock do not want to learn any more strange Perceiver facts because ‘distress and vexation’ has filled their hearts. What type of strange Perceiver facts would the disciples be avoiding? Facts that answer questions such as ‘Where are You going?’ What are the implications of spiritual technology? Where is spiritual technology heading? For instance, my interpretation of the Gospel of John is probably raising a number of questions in the mind of the reader, many involving where such an interpretation would lead. If talking about spiritual technology raises major questions, imagine the questions that would come to mind if one actually experienced spiritual technology.

Jesus responds by applying concrete technical thought: “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (v.7). The word translated advantage means to ‘combine in a way that brings a profit, especially by a concurrence of circumstances that results in benefit’. Contributor-controlled concrete technical thought makes improvements guided by some bottom line. This is the type of thinking that guides business. However, what Jesus says differs from normal bottom-line thinking in four ways: First, Jesus anchors his comments in Perceiver truth: ‘I tell you the truth’. In contrast, the average businessman regards truth as secondary to the pursuit of the bottom line, not realizing that business can only continue as long as an underlying foundation of truth remains intact. Second, Jesus is bringing profit to people: ‘It is to your advantage’. He is not just improving things but saving people. Third, Jesus is not just trying to improve some specific quality or object while forgetting about the big picture, the way that many businessmen do. Instead, he is using Teacher feelings of order-within-complexity to help expand the concept of profit, because elements are combining to bring a profit, and circumstances are working together to produce a benefit. Fourth, Jesus is not trying to maintain personal control. The typical businessman would like to be founder—and lifelong president—of a company. Jesus, in contrast, is sending the Holy Spirit. Finally, advantage is a positive term. Jesus is not just saving people from hell, but he is saving them to heaven. In the words of Isaiah 9:7, “There will be no end to the increase of his government or of peace... from then on and forevermore.”

Looking at this cognitively, I have mentioned several times that incarnation extends beyond technical thought to include God and personal identity. Saying this another way, incarnation extends beyond technical thought to include mental networks, because the mind uses a TMN to represent a concept of God, and MMNs to represent people. But this is not the typical Contributor partnership where those who are not Contributor persons are assisted up to a certain level and then slapped back down when they threaten the control of the Contributor person. Instead, this is a real partnership between the technical thinking of Incarnation, the TMN of God the Father, and the MMN of the Holy Spirit. Incarnation is handing over control to the Holy Spirit in the next few verses, and the Holy Spirit will guide people in a manner that lifts up Incarnation as well as God the Father.

Looking at this in terms of spiritual technology, normal technology began as an expression of technical thought—gadgets that emerged from scientifically driven factories. But as these gadgets accumulated and spread, what emerged was a new culture of technology, a culture in which people emotionally expect and anticipate a continual flow of new-and-improved gadgets. Similarly, when spiritual technology reaches a critical mass, then a culture of spiritual technology will emerge, and this new culture will provide an alternative to the existing materialistic worldview. I do not know how long it would take for a culture of spiritual technology to emerge from spiritual technology. Normal technology became widespread during the Industrial Revolution, and a culture of technology only started to emerge in the late 19th century, during the beginning of the Consumer Revolution. It is reasonable to suspect that spiritual technology would follow a similar path. However, I have also discovered that I am not very good at determining timing when dealing with the theory of mental symmetry and/or the plan of God. The important point is that this culture will only emerge if one goes beyond thinking of Incarnation as merely ‘Jesus in your heart’. And Jesus emphasizes that it is to people’s personal benefit for this Jesus to go away, so that one can view Jesus as bigger than merely an imaginary friend living in Mercy thought. This does not mean that Jesus would stop being an imaginary friend in Mercy thought, but rather that the mental concept of Jesus that re-emerged would be more holy, more intelligent, and more godlike.

When a culture of spiritual technology emerges, then this will lead to three major results: “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged” (v.8-11). I know that the standard theological interpretation is that these three results happened after the physical death of Jesus two thousand years ago, and to some extent, I think that this interpretation is valid. But this standard theological interpretation is invariably accompanied by a footnote which points out that while these three results have been fully achieved ‘within the heavenly realm’, they have not yet been fully realized on earth. Consistent with this theological footnote, we are examining a time in the future when spiritual technology would cause these three results to become fully realized upon earth. Putting this another way, the Holy Spirit already convicts the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment, but it is currently possible for people to ignore this conviction. Spiritual technology would make this conviction so obvious that it would no longer be possible to ignore. One would either have to submit to this conviction or actively reject it. Ignoring it would no longer be an option. A similar distinction can be seen in the spread of computer technology. It became possible for the average person to buy a personal computer in the 1970s, but it was also possible to ignore computers. However, computers have now become such an integral part of culture that they can no longer be ignored. Instead, one must either embrace computers or actively choose to avoid them. I suggest that a culture of spiritual technology would generate a similar—but more profound—effect.

Looking at the first result, fundamentalism naturally views sin as something negative, in which one becomes personally connected with MMNs that are regarded as bad or evil. But the word sin means ‘missing the mark’, which is the absence of a positive result. Of course, missing the mark can have negative results, but the point is that evil is being defined as an aberration of good and not the other way around. Conviction of sin is also typically seen as something emotional, in which one feels bad for having become personally connected with evil. But the word convicted means to ‘convince with solid, compelling evidence, especially to expose’. Thus, the emphasis is not upon making a person feel bad but rather upon getting the facts straight. Finally, conviction of sin is usually seen as feeling bad for some specific act or event. But the word concerning has a more general meaning, ‘used of comprehensive consideration where all the bases are covered’. Summarizing, ‘convicting the world concerning sin’ is more literally ‘providing solid, compelling evidence that people need to start thinking in terms of missing the mark’. For the secular mindset, this means admitting that all paths are not equal, while for the religious mindset, this means recognizing that sin is the absence of something positive.

A culture of spiritual technology would provide this kind of realization. It would become compellingly obvious that those who follow objective science and technology are pursuing an inferior path, because their lack of personal transformation would make them unable to participate in the new culture of spiritual technology. In the language of Jesus, ‘they do not believe in me’; they do not believe personally in an incarnation who is based in technical thought but goes beyond technical thought to include mental networks. For instance, the average Christian today has a personal relationship with Jesus at the level of mental networks, but is convinced that this emotional relationship has nothing to do with the technical thinking of science. Going the other way, the average scientist today uses technical thought to develop technology, but is convinced that technical thought has nothing to do with mental networks of personal identity. The Holy Spirit already convicts people of the inadequacies of such mindsets, but a culture of spiritual technology would make it blindingly obvious that both of these mindsets are fundamentally flawed.

Moving to the second result of righteousness, the original Greek also precedes the word righteousness with the word ‘concerning’, suggesting that one is dealing with the concept of righteousness rather than focusing upon specific righteous acts. Normal technology is based upon an objective form of righteousness. Technological gadgets perform their amazing feats by acting in a manner that reflects the universal laws of nature. Spiritual technology would extend this to include personal righteousness. A culture of spiritual technology would make it obvious that personal righteousness is a prerequisite for generating and using spiritual technology.

One can add details to this vague statement by looking more closely at how technology embodies righteousness. All of physical existence is righteous in the sense of behaving in a manner that expresses universal law. But most physical matter contains a random mixture of atoms and molecules, leading to a similarly random mixture of natural behaviors. If physical matter can be purified and structured through a refining process, then all of the atoms in an object will behave in the same way, magnifying some specific behavior. (An alloy is not a random mixture of elements, but rather a specific combination of pure elements that interact at an atomic level in a structured manner. Thus, alloys also need to be purified from impurities.) For instance, a pure collection of copper atoms will act as a conductor that conducts electricity. These purified objects can then be shaped and connected in a manner that causes them to work together to perform a desired function. For instance, copper atoms can be shaped into long wires to conduct electricity from one location to another, and wires can be arranged to form electrical circuits.

Applying this to personal righteousness, every person is righteous in the sense that the functioning of the human mind is governed by inescapable universal laws of cognition. For instance, mysticism may claim to transcend all rational thought, but mysticism is a predictable result of using the mind in a certain manner: A combination of overgeneralization and identification will predictably generate the emotional results that are claimed by mysticism. However, like most physical matter, the typical mind is a mixture of mental networks and rational thought that behave in a mixture of ways. Teacher thought finds this sort of chaos emotionally repulsive, and TMNs of rational understanding will purify and structure the mind, removing inconsistencies. The result is single-mindedness. Instead of being composed of a multiplicity of mental fragments all pulling in different directions, what will emerge is pure thought that magnifies the underlying properties of the mind. For instance, it is difficult to determine the cognitive style of a passive person, because the mind is being driven to and fro by a multiplicity of forces. In order to determine a person’s cognitive style, that person has to become an individual, purifying and separating the desires of self from the various urges generated by others. I have mentioned numerous times that the mind represents people as MMNs, but a mental network is not a static image, like a picture on a wall. Instead, it is more like an animated GIF, which encapsulates a person’s likes, dislikes, and typical behaviors. When a mind becomes purified, then it becomes possible for the various aspects of the mind to work together to perform some desired function. This desired function would provide the cognitive basis for spiritual technology.

Saying this another way, it appears that God uses people who are obsessed—people whose minds have become purified and structured in such a way to drive them in a certain direction. God would prefer to use people with healthy obsessions, but history shows that God will use people with obsessions even when these obsessions are not healthy and the individuals are only partially mature. I suggest that spiritual technology would take this to the next level.

Righteousness is an obsession that is guided by a TMN of God, because one is being emotionally driven to behave consistently in a certain manner that expresses some aspect of the character of God. This underlying characteristic of righteousness would become one of the defining traits of a culture based in spiritual technology. Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will convict “concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me.” The word translated see means ‘to gaze on for the purpose of analyzing or discriminating’. In other words, Jesus is not referring to physical sight but rather to the Perceiver categories that one is using to analyze what is being seen. Saying this cognitively, one is no longer thinking in terms of ‘Jesus in your heart’ but rather in terms of ‘Incarnation as a righteous expression of God the Father’. This type of mindset already happens in an objective manner in today’s professional society, because people with professional skills are identified by their training. For instance, if Jane is a professionally trained physiotherapist, then it is common to forget about the name Jane and simply refer to her as a physiotherapist. However, current specializations are objective technical skills that are attached to personal identity, which means that identifying fully with one’s specialization has a dehumanizing effect, because Jane is more than than just a physiotherapist. In contrast, spiritual technology would lead to specializations that include personal identity. Instead of making people less than human, this would make people more than human, expanding identity rather than dehumanizing individuals.

Stated simply, Christians would start thinking more like Jews and less like Christians, because Jews think in terms of actions and a God of understanding, while Christians focus upon a personal relationship with God. Going the other way, Jews would start thinking more like Christians and less like Jews, because Christians focus upon personal status before God while Jews tend to think in terms of national and tribal righteousness. Instead, a culture of spiritual technology would reveal the need for a personal character of righteousness, something that goes beyond both current Christianity and current Judaism.

The third result is ‘concerning judgment’, and the word judgment is also preceded by ‘concerning’ in the original Greek. The word judgment ‘typically refers to making a determination of right or wrong, especially on an official, legal standard’. Jesus adds that the ‘ruler of this world has been judged’. One can see what this means by looking at the effect that technology has had upon society. It has now become obvious that science and technology are by far the most effective ways of coming up with solutions to physical problems. Older mindsets, such as alchemy and magic, have become judged as inferior. People still practice forms of alchemy and magic, but those who promote such techniques typically try to prove that they are effective by appealing in some way to science. For instance, ‘science has shown that these crystals will cure your lumbago’. The scientific evidence that is presented to substantiate such claims may be inadequate, but the very fact that an appeal is being made to science indicates that mindsets such as alchemy and magic know that they have been judged as inferior to scientific thought. The judgment that comes from current science and technology is incomplete, because science uses technical thought that is specialized, and it belittles non-technical thinking. Thus, people are discovering that scientific thought tends to pursue fragmented solutions that are not holistic, as well as ignoring traditional methods that may be effective but were not developed using technical thought. Spiritual technology would correct these deficiencies, leading to a more complete feeling of judgment, and it would also extend this judgment to personal and religious realms. For instance, society as a whole agrees that one needs to go to a university to gain an understanding about how the world functions. But when it comes to the subjective and the religious, then there is still a multiplicity of views. As a result, one finds adherents of different religions attending the same universities and taking the same classes. Spiritual technology would remove this dichotomy. There would no longer be religion or university but rather religious university, and all religious universities would teach similar curriculums guided by a universal understanding of the character of God as revealed in the various facets of creation.

This does not mean that all universities would be officially accredited by the same governing body, because technology is not ultimately based in how a group of important people say that the world works, but rather in observing and understanding how the world really does work. In fact, I suggest that official accreditation (the boats from Tiberias of John 6:23) would actually destroy spiritual technology, because it would replace the righteousness of submitting internally to a concept of God with submitting to the regulations of human authority. Instead, I suggest that spiritual technology would lead to a purifying of human thought and behavior that would organically cause the various institutions of higher learning to develop compatible—but not identical—curriculums.

Expanded Concept of Incarnation 16:12-15

We saw earlier that incarnation uses technical thought, and technical thought is naturally limited to some context. Incarnation needs help from God the Father in Teacher thought to break out of an existing paradigm. This happened in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus followed the will of the Father in order to expand beyond the current paradigm of Judaism. The next section describes a similar expansion occurring within concrete thought, in which Incarnation turns to the Holy Spirit in order to expand beyond the existing culture of spiritual technology.

Saying this more clearly, technology descends from the abstract technical thinking of science to produce a new technological culture filled with gadgets. This leads to a split between technological improvement and personal relationship with Jesus. If I want a better house, then the tools of technology can be used to build one. If I have physical problems, then doctors who have a technical understanding of how the body works can use the tools of technology to treat my body. But if I am feeling depressed or emotionally overwhelmed, then I may turn to my personal relationship with Jesus to give me comfort, or I may book an appointment with a psychologist, who will apply his technical knowledge of how the mind works to address my condition. The end result is a split relationship with Incarnation, in which a personal relationship with Jesus becomes squeezed into the emotional corners where the objective thinking of science and technology cannot reach. Those who wish to build a personal relationship with Jesus find themselves continually wondering if they are abandoning Jesus by looking to professionals with their technology.

Spiritual technology would bring this question to a head. There would no longer be any room left for a traditional ‘personal relationship with Jesus’ because spiritual technology combined with technology would address all of a person’s needs and desires. I am not suggesting that a personal relationship with Jesus would disappear. Instead, this internal personal relationship would go through a transformation, and during this period of transformation, it would probably feel as if one no longer had a personal relationship with Jesus. And in the same way that some of the disciples of Jesus did not immediately recognize Jesus when he appeared to them after his resurrection, so I suggest that one might not immediately recognize the transformed concept of Jesus as the same person as the previous imaginary friend of ‘Jesus in your heart’.

Jesus describes this predicament: “I have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (v.12). The new concept of Jesus-as-God has descended to personal existence through spiritual technology, and this new concept would like to say many things to believers. But they are unable to bear this message, because it does not fit within their current concept of Jesus-as-my-invisible-friend.

The Spirit of truth is capable of expanding a concept of Incarnation: “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you” (v.13). The Spirit of truth will guide people into ‘all the truth’, and not just aspects of truth that are deemed to be religious or spiritual. But this will not be new truth because the Spirit will not ‘speak on his own initiative’. Instead, the speech of the Spirit will be guided by Teacher understanding: ‘whatever he hears, he will speak’. And the Spirit will go beyond what is to what could be: ‘he will disclose to what is to come’. The result will not be a different concept of Incarnation but rather an expanded concept of Incarnation: ‘He will glorify Me’. And this will not lead to the abandonment of technical thought because the Spirit ‘will take of mine and will disclose it to you’.

I suggest that one can understand what is happening by taking a cognitive perspective. I mentioned that a concept of the Spirit is based in Platonic forms. A Platonic form guides the mind into ‘all the truth’ because it is an idealization that is based in many specific experiences. A Platonic form does not speak on its own initiative but rather is an indirect expression of Teacher understanding. And because a Platonic form is an idealization of reality guided by universal understanding, it goes beyond ‘what is’ to portray ‘what could be’, guided by a Teacher understanding of ‘how things work’. Finally, Platonic forms of the Spirit do not contradict Incarnation, because both Platonic forms and Incarnation have their source in the TMN of a concept of God. In the words of Jesus, “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you” (v.15).

For instance, I was raised in an evangelical Mennonite home and ‘asked Jesus into my heart’ at an early age. I first encountered the idea of cognitive styles when I was in college. As I continued to study and analyze the seven cognitive styles, each of these seven ways of thinking became represented within my mind by a Platonic form that described the ideal version of that cognitive style. These seven Platonic forms then combined to create the Platonic form of the ideal mind—a mind in which all seven cognitive modules functions together in harmony, with each cognitive module providing a necessary component of what is required for mental wholeness. I then began to re-examine my childhood concepts of God and Jesus in the light of these Platonic forms. I gradually realized that the Biblical description of God-the-Father corresponds to the traits of Teacher thought, God-the-Son to Contributor thought, and God-the-Spirit to Mercy thought. I found these theological concepts troubling at first, because my concept of the Trinitarian God that was based in a study of cognitive styles was starting to ‘say things’ to me that my childhood concept of God and Jesus could ‘not bear’. Using the language of pictures, my childhood concept was largely an amalgam of a ‘traditional church in the country’ combined with ‘the land of Palestine several millennia ago’, while my emerging concept went beyond traditional church to include university, commerce, and travel, as well as modern Israel and modern technology. I could no longer sit in a church and focus upon a Jesus who lived 2000 years ago, while ignoring the modern technology that made the church building and the church service possible. Instead, I would look at the pillars and beams of the church, or think about the sound system, and see an aspect of incarnation. I would examine the church library and notice that the largest section was Christian fiction (this is true for every church library that I have examined so far) and conclude that the childish concept of ‘Jesus in your heart’ was largely fantasy for the average Christian. I would read the news and realize that what was happening in the church was merely one aspect of a larger plan of incarnation being carried out by all of society.

Skipping ahead a few years, my theoretical concept of a Trinitarian God did not combine instantaneously with my childhood concept of ‘Jesus in my heart’. Instead, my theoretical understanding of Incarnation as a Contributor person had to be expanded by a Spirit of truth. I had to search for universal truth by comparing many descriptions of human thought for common Perceiver facts. I had to turn facts into Platonic forms by evaluating these facts in the light of my Teacher understanding of the mind. And I had to add Mercy experiences to these Perceiver facts by personally feeling what it meant to coexist internally with my abstract concepts of God and Incarnation. As I continued to study, I realized that my cognitive research was actually glorifying my childhood concepts of God and Jesus; it was not speaking on its own initiative but rather disclosing what the Bible was saying about God and Jesus. When I eventually returned to analyzing the Bible in detail, I found that I was reading Scripture through an entirely new set of Perceiver categories, guided by the Spirit of truth that had formed within my mind. As one can see from this essay on the Gospel of John, the concept of Incarnation that is emerging has far more depth than the concept of ‘Jesus in my heart’ that I acquired as a child, while remaining compatible with my childish concept of Jesus.

This may sound like an arduous process that could have been avoided by growing up in a church that emphasized the sovereignty of God rather than ‘Jesus in your heart’. But merely talking about the truth is not enough. If one wishes to go beyond parroting existing doctrine, then one must struggle with issues and acquire cognitive ownership of truth. As far as I can tell, this kind of internal struggle would be a requirement for participating in spiritual technology. More specifically, I am attempting to illustrate the internal struggle that followers of Incarnation would experience at this stage of history.

Spiritual Birth 16:16-17

The next section is grammatically strange because the same phrase with the same two verbs is repeated four times. This type of repetition can only indicate that what is being stated is significant. In verse 16, Jesus says, “A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me” (v.16). The two words translated ‘see’ are not the same in the original Greek. The first one is theoreo, which means to ‘gaze on for the purpose of analyzing’, while the second one is orao, which means ‘see, often with metaphorical meaning – to see with the mind’. This phrase is then repeated with the same two verbs in verse 17 as a question by the disciples: “Some of His disciples then said to one another, ‘What is this thing He is telling us, “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me”; and, “because I go to the Father”?’” This second time, the phrase ‘because I go to the Father’ is added.

This phrase is then partially repeated for the third time in verse 18, this time not as a question being posed to one another, but rather as a statement: “So they were saying, ‘What is this that He says, “A little while”? We do not know what He is talking about.’” The focus this third time is upon the gap between disappearing and reappearing. Finally, Jesus repeats the phrase one more time in verse 19: “Jesus knew that they wished to question Him, and He said to them, ‘Are you deliberating together about this, that I said, “A little while, and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me”?’” Even though they are posing the question, they do not ask Jesus directly. Instead Jesus notices that they want to ask him, and he points out that they are deliberating, which means ‘getting to the bottom of a matter’.

Jesus then explains that this will be an emotional transition: “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy” (v.20). Something will happen that will make believers feel as if everything is lost, and the outside world will respond with rejoicing. But this grief will be turned to joy, and joy appears to refer consistently to Teacher emotion.

Interpreting this literally, Jesus is obviously referring to his physical death and resurrection. When he is crucified, the disciples will lament while the rest of the world rejoices. But when Jesus is raised from the dead, then this sorrow will be turned to joy. And to some extent, this also fits with the two verbs being used for ‘see’. Before his death, the disciples could physically see Jesus, but after the ascension of Jesus, the disciples had to form a mental concept of Incarnation.

Based upon personal experience, I suggest that there is also a cognitive interpretation. I ‘skipped ahead a few years’ in the previous personal example. A major internal transition occurred during those intervening years, which I will now describe. In 2002 I moved to Korea and spent several years teaching high school math and physics at an international school in Seoul. During this time, I was still thinking about the theory of mental symmetry, but it was not front and center within my mind. Before I went to Korea, I knew that one must add personal application to rational understanding if one wishes to study the mind successfully. Saying this another way, I knew that one has to go beyond technology to spiritual technology. But I was still adding mental networks to my rational thinking, as well as being guided personally by my childhood concept of ‘Jesus in my heart’. As my time in Korea came to an end, something new started to emerge internally within Mercy thought. The ideas that I had developed gradually turned into mental networks and these mental networks started to function independently. These MMNs translated mental symmetry from a rational theory that one applies personally, to an internal environment within which personal identity could live.

MMNs that represent theoretical concepts can be explained in terms of Platonic forms, but these Platonic forms were not just static mental concepts posing on internal pedestals. Instead, these MMNs felt more like mental agents with personalities that were interacting with conscious thought. My best guess is that these MMNs emerged because I was no longer using technical thought to develop the theory of mental symmetry, but rather living within a real world of experiences guided by this understanding. Going further, I think that these MMNs started to function independently because I was living as an outsider within a strange culture. While I appreciate and enjoy many elements of Korean culture, I found it impossible to place my identity within this culture, and I also could not identify with the American fundamentalist Christian culture at the International School where I was teaching. Thus, the MMNs filled the void. Saying this more crudely, my ‘imaginary friends’ stepped in when I could not turn to real friends. (My sister and brother-in-law were teaching at the same international school in Korea and that helped immensely, but it was not enough.)

These Platonic forms have continued to function semi-independently within my mind, and I am suspicious that these mental networks are being energized by some sort of spiritual influence, but this remains merely a suspicion, because they have always behaved in a manner that could be explained from a purely cognitive perspective in terms of mental networks. What I do know is that fundamental concepts of the theory of mental symmetry have turned into Platonic forms within my mind, and these mental networks now provide the emotional support that I was unable to receive either from colleagues or culture. And I am quite certain that I would turn cynical without this internal emotional support.

As far as I can tell, spirits possess human minds by inhabiting and empowering mental networks. Thus, what I am discussing may sound at first glance like being possessed by spirits. However, there are some crucial differences. The mental networks that have emerged within my mind have never imposed themselves on personal identity or attempted to overwhelm free will, but have always provided unobtrusive help that submits to rational understanding. And the guiding principles of interaction have consistently been mutual respect and a search for mental wholeness. In contrast, a spirit that possesses the mind is obtrusive and rude, it tries to overwhelm free will, it is not guided by rational thought, and it does not seek mental wholeness.

I think that 1 John 4 is referring to this general period of time. John begins the chapter by saying “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God... every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:1,3). John does not say to reject all spirits, but rather that spirits need to be tested to see if they are based in the TMN of a concept of God. And one should accept spirits that support the practical outworking of incarnation. Similarly, John says in John 16 that the Holy Spirit will affect the world in a practical way. Going further, Jesus predicts in the Gospel of John that he will leave and return: “Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy” (v.20). 1 John 4:3-4 also describes a spirit of the world that is temporarily dominant but eventually defeated: “This is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”

I mention this personal transition because it provides my best guess as to what it feels like for a concept of incarnation to be expanded by the Holy Spirit. Cognitively speaking, a concept of the Holy Spirit emerges when a general Teacher understanding of God integrates more specific Platonic forms within Mercy thought. Consistent with my personal experience, Jesus describes this transition as giving birth to new life: “Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world” (v.21). Jesus emphasizes three points in this illustration. First, something intelligent and personal is coming to birth. Similarly, I have found that these MMNs in my mind are not just mere urges but rather behave in an intelligent manner. Second, a baby is being born and not a mature adult. Likewise, the MMNs within my mind have matured and developed as I continue to interact internally with them. Third, the emotion of sorrow is being replaced by a feeling of joy. Similarly, I have found that these MMNs give me a positive emotional perspective, allowing me to remain joyful in the midst of a society that is becoming increasingly insane.

These points may relate to the comment of Jesus in verse 25 that ‘they hated me without a cause’. The fundamental principle of righteousness is that one becomes righteous by doing actions that are motivated by the TMN of a concept of God and not by MMNs of personal approval—one obeys God rather than men. When one follows God in a righteous manner and is ‘hated without a cause’, then a similar principle becomes applied at the level of mental networks. Any MMNs that have developed within the mind as a result of applying righteousness are given emotional support by Teacher thought, turning them from mere urges into something more intelligent, driven by the Teacher emotion of joy.

Looking at this further from a cognitive perspective, the typical imaginary friend is based in fantasy and has nothing to do with reality. This may help to develop the imagination of a child but it is counterproductive to living as a mature adult. However, if one extends scientific thought to include the subjective, then this will lead indirectly to ‘imaginary friends’ that embody various aspects of scientific thought, leading to an internal world that is consistent with reality and not one that pulls one away from reality. One could compare this to the mental effect of playing computer-generated video games. This can be mentally harmful if the games portray an alternate world that has nothing to do with reality. But it is very useful if the video games are a simulation of reality. For instance, most pilot training is now done on aircraft simulators rather than on real airplanes.

Turning now to a spiritual perspective, as far as I can tell from my readings, the standard way of ‘contacting spirits or UFOs’ is to empty one’s mind of human content in a mystical fashion and then open one’s mind up to the spiritual realm. This may work, but one is acquiring spiritual content in a manner that ignores human well-being, and one is probably contacting spiritual beings that are not concerned about human well-being. In contrast, the method that I am describing starts by filling the mind with content that is based upon the well-being of all of God’s created beings, held together by a rational—and biblical—concept of God and Incarnation. One then goes beyond the material, not by opening up one’s mind, but rather by submitting personal identity to the internal content of God and Incarnation. When that is the starting point, then one will attract spiritual beings that respect human well-being who are also subject the kingdom of God and Incarnation, and it is possible that guardian angels play a role in this interaction. The end result is not a division between spirit and physical reality but rather the birth of an integrated relationship between heaven and earth. What this means in practice is that the physical, spiritual, and supernatural no longer feel like different realms but instead they feel like different ways of approaching the same ultimate reality.

I should emphasize that all of this is currently happening only within my mind at the level of simulation. I have never seen an angel, a spirit, or a UFO. At most I have sensed a feeling of electricity or spiritual presence. Instead, the theory of mental symmetry provides a rational explanation for angels, spirits, and UFOs, and and I have discovered that following the theory of mental symmetry leads to internal experiences that are like the physical experiences which are described by those who claim to have encountered angels, spirits, and UFOs. Thus, I find myself in the situation described by Paul in Romans 8:19-25, in which one hopes even though one cannot see, and one longs to go beyond experiencing the first fruits of the Spirit.

The Big Picture

Looking now at the—very—big picture, we currently live in a universe of solid physical matter. What a person thinks has no bearing upon either physical existence or natural law. In other words, natural law inescapably reflects the character of God while people can choose to avoid God. As a result, the current relationship is matter-over-mind, because of God imposes his righteous character upon matter, which becomes the source of understanding for human minds. The opposite relationship appears to exist in the new heavens and earth described at the end of the book of Revelation. On the one hand, earth and heaven flee away from the presence of the person sitting on the great white throne and no place is found for them (Rev. 20:11). On the other hand, a new heaven and earth emerge and a voice from the throne says that God will dwell among men (Rev. 21:3). This tells us that the final relationship will be mind-over-matter. God’s righteous character will be reflected in human minds, which will then be able to guide physical nature.

A similar logic was used when looking at the theoretical return of Christ. If God the Father is the Creator who creates universal theories in Teacher thought, then God coming to live with someone or something implies that universal theories are being imposed upon that someone or something, because God creates universal theories in Teacher thought. If God is dwelling with people, then universal Teacher theories are being imposed upon people, and if earth and heaven flee from the presence of God, then this means that universal Teacher theories are no longer being imposed upon earth and heaven.

How does one make the transition from matter-over-mind to mind-over-matter? Obviously, the actual transition can only be made by a real God performing what is described in Revelation 20-21. But God can only carry out such a transition if a group of people have an internal understanding that is solid enough to replace the physical stability of the physical universe. Saying this another way, matter is currently over mind because matter is solid and mind is not. Mind-over-matter will only work if minds become as solid as current matter.

Looking at this in more detail, it makes sense that God would only give a person—or group—the ability to impose mind upon matter if God could trust this person (or group) to use this power in a way that is consistent with the character of God. Using an analogy, a parent will only give a teenage son or daughter the keys to the family car if the parent can trust the child to drive this car in a responsible manner. Humans can already use their physical bodies to impose mind upon matter in a limited manner—by acting. Saying this as simply as possible, words can be used to construct an understanding of the character of God within the mind. The mind imposes itself upon matter through the use of physical action. When a person is righteous, then physical actions in Server thought are being guided by an understanding of God within Teacher thought. Stated in terms of mind and matter, a righteous person is using mind over matter in a way that is consistent with the character of God. Therefore, if the ultimate goal of God is to give humans the ability to impose mind upon matter, then the primary characteristic that God will look for is righteousness. Going one step further, what God will really want is a person who is irresistibly driven by core mental networks to think and behave in a righteous manner.

This relationship between righteousness and the final judgment of God can be found in many scriptural passages. Daniel connects righteousness with the final judgment: “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” (Daniel 12:2). And Daniel’s connection of righteousness with the final judgment is repeated by Jesus: “Just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father” (Matt. 13:40-43). The final judgment is also described in Matthew 25: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another... Then the righteous will answer Him... These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:31-32,37,46). The final transition from matter-over-mind to mind-over-matter occurs at the great white throne in Revelation 20. The standard of judgment is a person’s relationship between Teacher understanding, represented by books, and Server actions. “The dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds” (Rev. 20:12).

Some Christians believe that they will become instantly perfect when they die and go to heaven. It is true that a disembodied soul is no longer tempted by ‘the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of biological life’. But ignoring what one does on earth because one believes that one will become perfect in heaven actually breaks the mental connection between God in Teacher thought and human actions in Server thought, making it impossible to become righteous. Similarly, a mystical concept of God also makes righteousness impossible, because it asserts that God transcends all human content and activity. The individual who proclaims that ‘God does everything in personal salvation and man does nothing’ is also creating a cognitive disconnect between words in Teacher thought and actions in Server thought, because every action this person does becomes disconnected from salvation. If God really does everything in personal salvation and humans do nothing, then a person becomes saved by lying prone on a bed and waiting to be animated by God—and no person behaves this way. Finally, the new age approach of looking inside to find God and then believing in mind-over-matter also violates righteousness, because the ‘God’ that one discovers inside is a God of mysticism who lacks all content, and this missing content will be provided by the desires and habits of personal identity.

It appears that God’s plan is to make the transition from matter-over-mind to mind-over-matter in stages. The first stage is to gain a solid internal understanding of the physical universe. Science and technology have performed this first stage. The second stage is to extend the understanding of science to include the personal and the divine. This describes what Jesus was trying to do in John 1-12 and could not because science had not emerged, and it also summarizes the direction in which I have been attempting to head with the theory of mental symmetry. The third stage is spiritual technology, in which technology is extended by becoming energized by God in a manner that requires personal transformation. Notice that ‘spiritual’ is still an adjective being added to the noun ‘technology’. Objective technology is being modified to include a concept of God as well as personal transformation. The fourth stage flips this relationship, starting with the personal realm. In some way, the external starts to become an expression of the internal, when dealing with the personal. This fourth stage reaches its full expression during the millennium, when people with resurrected bodies live in an untransformed physical universe. The final fifth stage then happens at the great white throne, when the physical universe itself becomes an expression of internal content. (Note from 2023: I think that the universe will continue functioning in submission to natural law the way that it currently does. However, human minds will gain the ability to locally override natural law, which means that mind will rule over matter whenever mind comes into contact with matter.)

This final state should not be thought of as freedom from natural law but rather as submission to the character of God. That is because God was, is, and will continue to be a God of law and order. The law and order of the universe currently comes from unbreakable natural laws. In the new heaven-and-earth, the ultimate law and order will come from people whose minds inescapably reflect the character of God. This can be seen in the character qualities of those who will be condemned to the lake of fire in this new environment: “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8). Looking at these traits in more detail, cowardly ‘describes a person who loses their moral gumption that is needed to follow God’, which means lacking the internal structure that is required to exist in a universe where the external has become malleable. Unbelieving means ‘not faithful because unpersuaded by God’, which indicates someone who is not motivated by an internal concept of God. Abominable means ‘detestable as stench’, which indicates a person whose mind is driven by foul mental networks. A murderer tries to destroy personal mental networks. Immoral means ‘prostitute’, and a prostitute damages core mental networks in order to achieve peripheral gain. A sorcerer ‘uses drugs and religious incantations to drug people into living by their illusions’, which means giving expression to mental networks that are incompatible with mental wholeness. An idolater is ‘a worshiper of an image’, which means acquiring core mental networks from the external environment. Finally, all liars would refer to any attempt to disconnect words from internal content. The common thread for all these traits is an inability and/or unwillingness to be guided internally by an integrated concept of God.

We saw in a previous paragraph that the final judgment focuses upon righteousness. In contrast, righteousness is not mentioned in Revelation 21 or 22, the two chapters that talk about the new heaven-and-earth. Instead, what really matters in the new heaven-and-earth is the ability to be guided internally by mental networks of wholeness and integrity. One can see a transition occurring from righteousness to mental wholeness at the end of Revelation 20. In verse 12 people are “judge from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds”, indicating an emphasis upon righteousness. But verse 12 adds that “another book was opened, which is the book of life” telling us that the attention is turning from righteousness to core mental networks, because the mind uses mental networks to represent life. And the judgment that occurs at the end of the chapter is guided by the book of life: “And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev. 20:15). (The word translated life is zoe, which refers to ‘both physical and spiritual existence’.) A book of life implies an integrated Teacher understanding of mental networks. If a person’s name is written in the book of life, this implies that mental networks of personal identity have been placed within an integrated Teacher understanding of mental networks. Using Christian language, personal identity has become reborn in submission to God the Father through the work of Incarnation.

Summarizing, a person can currently use mind to control matter through physical action. A person who is righteous is being guided by a concept of God in the one area where human minds currently have power over matter. Therefore, when the transition from matter-over-mind to mind-over-matter is about to happen, then humans will be judged by their righteousness. But once this transition happens, then righteousness will no longer be the key trait, because humans will be able to use their minds to control matter in many ways other than just physical action. What will then matter is being internally driven in an integrated manner by core mental networks of wholeness and personal integrity, as described by the list of traits in Revelation 21:8.

Tying this down with a simple example, when Jesus rose from the dead, he acquired the ability to physically teleport (for example, John 20:19). Walls and doors are currently used to preserve privacy, protect people from physical harm, stop items from being stolen, imprison criminals, and control the movement of people. External walls would become ineffective if people could teleport. Therefore, people who could teleport would have to be guided by internal standards to preserve privacy, avoid harming people, respect private property, and avoid fleeing from consequences.

Notice that each stage has both a cognitive component and a divine component. People must gain an understanding of natural law, but this is only possible if God has created the universe to be ruled by natural law. People must then gain an understanding of cognitive principles, but this also is only possible if God has created the mind to be ruled by cognitive law. Spiritual technology is only possible if people extend rational thought to include mental networks, but God and Incarnation must then step in to dwell with these people. Finally, a new heaven and earth requires a group of people whose minds are ruled internally by the concept of a Trinitarian God. But God must then step in to change the actual relationship between mind and matter.

Heaven is currently both ahead of and behind earth in this process. On the one hand, it appears that external reality in heaven is already an expression of internal content, populated by disembodied spirits who have submitted internally to a mental concept of God and Incarnation. Thus, heaven is ahead of earth. But on the other hand, heaven is a spiritual realm populated by ‘departed souls’ without physical bodies, which does not extend to the physical realm of earth. Thus, heaven is behind earth, because the mind-over-matter of heaven does not extend to physical matter. Heaven will connect with earth in a personal way during the millennium when believers who died will be resurrected to populate the physical earth (Rev. 20:4). Heaven will then connect with earth in a more complete manner when the new Jerusalem descends from heaven to earth. That is when the current physical earth and spiritual heaven will be replaced by a new integrated heaven-and-earth.

I know that the idea of a millennium which precedes the final resurrection is not accepted by some theologians. For instance, Louis Berkhof rejects the millennium in no uncertain terms: “The Premillennial theory entangles itself in all kinds of insuperable difficulties with its doctrine of the millennium. It is impossible to understand how a part of the old earth and of sinful humanity can exist alongside of a part of the new earth and of a humanity that is glorified. How can perfect saints in glorified bodies have communion with sinners in the flesh. How can glorified saints live in this sin-laden atmosphere and amid scenes of death and decay? How can the Lord of glory, the glorified Christ, establish His throne on earth as long as it has not yet been renewed... What a mongrel state of things is this! What an abhorred mixture of things totally inconsistent with each other!” (Systematic Theology, p.793). When a person uses such strong language, then one can conclude that core mental networks are being challenged. Berkhof tells us in this quote which core mental network is being challenged. In simple terms, he believes that God resides in a perfect heaven that is utterly distinct from the imperfect realm of current human existence, and he cannot imagine perfect heaven coming into contact with unredeemed earth. Berkhof must assert this distinction because he uses Teacher overgeneralization to construct a concept of God, and overgeneralization must remain at the level of vague generalities without adding specific content. In contrast, I suggest that all of creation is being guided by God in an integrated, step-by-step, rational manner to a future society in which mental wholeness is a requirement. I do not know if other theologians reject the millennium for similar reasons, but I do know that most—if not all—Christian theologians use overgeneralization to some extent when discussing God and redemption.

Paradigm Shift 16:18-24

Returning to John 16, I suggest that ‘A little while, and you will no longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me’ is describing the critical flip that indicates the start of stage four in which mind starts to rule over matter. This phrase is traditionally interpreted as referring to the death and resurrection of Jesus, and I think that this is a valid interpretation. (I do not think that it refers to the ascension and return of Jesus because this severely stretches the meaning of the term ‘a little while’. This Greek word mikron means little or small, and it is used seven times in John 16:16-19.) However, I think that this phrase is primarily describing something bigger. Both of these traditional interpretations are thinking purely in terms of Jesus-as-man: Jesus is dying and being resurrected as a finite man; Jesus is ascending to heaven and returning to Earth as a finite man. But Jesus is not a finite man. Instead, Jesus is the Incarnation who is both God and man, who took the form of a finite man two thousand years ago. In addition, the seeing that happens before is different than the seeing that happens after, and precisely the same Greek phrase is repeated three times. As was mentioned before, the first see means ‘Gazing on for the purpose of analyzing’ while the second see means ‘see, often with metaphorical meaning: to see with the mind’. When the natural laws of the universe are solid, then one can see Incarnation through empirical evidence. But if mental structure became more solid than physical matter, then one would have to see Incarnation internally with the mind.

I am not suggesting that Jesus will not return visibly, but when Jesus does return in Revelation 19, what is being described is the embodiment of a Platonic form and not some limited Jesus-as-man: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself” (Rev. 19:11-12). Jesus is being described as ‘called Faithful and True’, which are generic labels. In cognitive language, Faithful describes Server thought, while True describes Perceiver thought. (Incarnation uses Contributor thought, which combines Server and Perceiver.) John adds that Jesus will judge in righteousness, and the judgment of righteousness was discussed earlier. The universal nature of Jesus the God/man is demonstrated by the many diadems on his head. Finally, John says that Jesus has ‘a name written on him which no one knows except himself’. The word translated know means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’, which implies that no one will be able to grasp the nature of incarnation through physical evidence. In other words, one will be able to physically see the physical body of Jesus, but what one will physically see will only be one aspect of a multi-dimensional God/man whose character cannot be fully grasped through physical sight.

My best guess is that John 16 is describing a period of time that is like a continental divide. A continental divide may not appear that significant if one examines the immediate surroundings, but if one steps back and looks at the larger picture, one realizes that it is a watershed moment in which the flow of society totally changes direction. Similarly, the text before John 16:16-22 reads as if spirituality is being added to technology, while in the High Priestly Prayer that follows in John 17, Jesus asks God the Father to change universal law so that it becomes based upon spirituality. (Note from 2023: A similar continental divide can be seen in Hebrews 4.)

The seeing that occurs beforehand is ‘gazing on for the purpose of analyzing’. If incarnation is being seen in this manner, then this implies that a mindset of science is being extended to generate spiritual technology. If this seeing were to come to an end, then this suggests that spiritual technology might stop working, similar to the way that electronic gadgets go dead when they run out of power. This would naturally lead to dismay combined with schadenfreude. Those who were pursuing spiritual technology would be filled with dismay, while the world at large would be overjoyed that the annoying spiritual awakening had finally run its course and come to an end, like every charismatic renewal before it.

The response of the disciples is reminiscent of Thomas Kuhn’s description of how scientists respond to an impending paradigm shift. In Kuhn’s words, when “an anomaly comes to see more than just another puzzle of normal science, the transition to crisis and to extraordinary science has begun. The anomaly itself now comes to be more generally recognized as such by the profession. More and more attention is devoted to it by more and more of the field’s most eminent men… many of them may come to view its resolution as the subject matter of their discipline. For them the field will no longer look quite the same as it had earlier… with continuing resistance, more and more of the attacks upon [the anomaly] will involve some minor or not so minor articulation of the paradigm… the rules of normal science become increasingly blurred. Though there still is a paradigm, few practitioners prove to be entirely agreed about what is” (Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn, p. 82-83).

Comparing this with what John describes, Jesus first tells the disciples that a shift will occur. The idea of a shift then becomes the topic of conversation among the disciples, and the disciples realize that this involves ‘going to the Father’—the emergence of a new general understanding in Teacher thought. The disciples then say that they do not understand what it means to have a gap between their current understanding and the upcoming new paradigm. Jesus eventually notices that they are investigating these questions and steps in. He then explains that a paradigm shift is an emotional transition in which grief is replaced by joy at something new comes to birth. Notice that an anomaly is appearing on the horizon and that more and more attention is being devoted to this by more eminent men. Eventually, the disappearance and reappearance of technical thought becomes the primary topic of investigation.

But why would the disciples not turn to Jesus with their concerns? Because the disciples are going through a form of paradigm shift. This was literally true of the original disciples just before Jesus died physically, because Jesus was about to transform their understanding about what it meant for Jesus to be the Messiah. And I suggest that it will also be true of those who experience the future transition. I mentioned that technical thought is naturally restricted to some specialization. Thomas Kuhn says that a scientist cannot exist without a paradigm. Therefore, for the typical scientist, an impending paradigm shift is like stepping off the edge of the known world into mental oblivion. Normal science with its technical thought disappears and is replaced by what Kuhn calls revolutionary science. But Kuhn does not describe what revolutionary science is. Instead he defines it in a negative manner as a loosening of the rules of normal science. Thus, when a scientist experiences an anomaly that threatens his existing paradigm, the primary response is to continue using technical thought in an attempt to make the problem go away. It is as if the scientist can only speak the one language of technical thought. When something comes along that does not fit this language, then the scientist will not attempt to speak another language, or try to think nonverbally. Instead, he will attempt more carefully to decipher what is happening, using the only language that he is capable of speaking. (We saw something similar in John 9, where the religious leaders fixate upon methodology.) The disciples are caught in a similar predicament, because they respond to the upcoming paradigm shift in the only way that they know how, which is deliberating the matter among themselves. And they declare that they do not know what it means to go through a paradigm shift: “What is this that he says, ‘A little while’? We do not know what he is talking about” (v.18).

But even though the disciples are responding in a manner that is typical of a scientific paradigm shift, this is not a normal paradigm shift because one is dealing with incarnation which extends technical thought to include a TMN of God as well as MMNs of personal identity. Therefore, this paradigm shift is triggered not by the emergence of some anomaly but rather by Incarnation telling them that a paradigm shift is about to happen: “A little while, and you will longer see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me” (v.16). And Incarnation shows up again when the paradigm shift has reached a critical stage. When the disciples leave the normal science of technical thought and enter the paradigm-shifting realm of revolutionary science, they do not encounter chaos but rather Incarnation, who informs them what revolutionary science is like: It is like the birth of a child, because it involves mental networks. What comes to birth is not just a new paradigm in technical thought, but rather an incarnational form of thinking and existing that combines technical thought with mental networks. Jesus says that this will be the paradigm shift to end all paradigm shifts: “You too have grief now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you” (v.22). This sort of transition to a living, breathing infant occurs during a physical birth, which is why Jesus can use physical birth as an analogy of this larger transition.

Jesus then describes the results of this paradigm shift. It will lead to a change in the nature of technical thought: “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (v.23). The word translated question means to ‘make an earnest request, especially by someone on special footing’. Academia currently views technical thought as the only valid form of academic reasoning. Using the language of John, it questions incarnation about everything, because academia thinks that only technical thought matters, and academia also thinks that it has the inside track to technical thought. That attitude will change. Instead of questioning incarnation, requests will be made to the Father in the name of Incarnation.

Looking at this cognitively, Teacher thought currently functions implicitly within technical thought. The researcher who thinks that he is applying pure rational logic, is actually being emotionally driven by the underlying TMN of the paradigms that lie behind this technical thinking. One can tell that this is the case because anything that lies outside of the paradigm or that contradicts the paradigm will tend to provoke an emotional response of belittling or condemnation.

The paradigm shift that has just occurred has taught people that technical thought occurs within a context of mental networks. Thus, the explicit focus will become gaining a general understanding in Teacher thought, and technical thought will be seen as a tool that is used to achieve this goal of understanding. In the words of Jesus, people will ask the Father in the name of Incarnation. One can see that the focus has changed towards general Teacher understanding because Jesus refers to this time as ‘that day’, and a day is ‘the period from sunrise to sunset’, when there is a sun of general Teacher understanding.

In the words of Thomas Kuhn, the average person thinks that science is a search for Teacher understanding—in which one forms and tests general hypotheses. Science may do this occasionally, but the average scientist spends the vast majority of his time solving technical puzzles. Jesus is saying that science will start to do what science currently claims that it does. Instead of saying that it is searching for theories while actually solving technical puzzles, it will explicitly search for theories in Teacher thought, using technical thought as a tool to achieve this. Searching explicitly for general Teacher understanding is emotionally risky, because existing technical thought might fall apart, causing Contributor thought to lose control of the mind. It is much safer to stick with existing paradigms, as illustrated by the saying ‘If it is not broken, do not fix it’. Therefore, Jesus reassures his disciples that their search for general understanding will be successful: “If you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you” (v.23).

Jesus adds that this is a new form of thinking. “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full”. Notice that the motivation is the Teacher emotion of joy. I should add that this transition beyond technical thought can only happen under incarnation. Researchers often recognize the limitations of technical thought, but these limitations are inevitably described using technical thought. Similarly, the benefits of interdisciplinary research are recognized, but this still happens within the general context of technical specializations. In order to truly escape the limitations of technical thought, one must develop an alternative form of thinking and recognize this alternative as a valid alternative to technical thought.

Allegory of Reality 16:25-28

The underlying assumption is that humans will always live in a physical universe governed by unchanging natural laws which can be deciphered using technical thought. Placing this within the context of our discussion of John, spiritual technology has been tacked on to a natural world of science and technology; technology is the noun and spiritual is the adjective. But a shift has now occurred where spiritual becomes the noun and technology becomes the adjective. Such a shift from technical thought to mental networks describes the essence of moving from matter-over-mind to mind-over-matter, because matter is controlled by universal laws that are analyzed using technical thought, while the mind is ruled by mental networks.

Such a shift would lead to major questions about the nature of reality. In simple terms, what is reality? Jesus describes this change in perspective: “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father” (v.25). The word translated figurative language means ‘a cryptic saying, an allegory, a proverb, figurative discourse’. Such questions about reality are already being posed by some scientists, who suggest that physical reality is actually a Matrix-like simulation being generated by a giant computer, which means that physical reality is actually an allegory of a deeper ultimate reality.

But merely suggesting that there is a deeper ultimate reality is not sufficient. First, this does not really answer anything but simply moves the question one stage deeper. If our physical universe is only a simulation being run on some massive computer, then what is the nature of the reality within which this massive computer functions? Is it also a computer simulation? Is reality ‘turtles all the way down’? Second, what is the relationship between the physical laws of the simulated universe in which we live, and the physical laws of the universe in which the simulating computer functions? This is like asking what the relationship is between the artificial rules of some computer game and the laws of physical reality. Finally, why? Why would anyone go to the effort of simulating our universe, and does that individual or group of individuals care enough to keep the simulation running, or will all of existence come to an abrupt end when someone decides to turn off the power, or someone trips over the power cord? Even Star Trek poses this final question.

Jesus appears to be saying that physical reality is an allegory of ultimate reality, and that ultimate reality is based upon the character of God. The time will come when one no longer learns about God the Father through allegory but rather learns directly about the character of God: “an hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but will tell you plainly of the Father” (v.25).

Saying this another way, people will scratch physical reality and discover something deeper underneath. But this deeper existence will not contradict physical reality but rather follow similar laws that are more general and more flexible. More simply, it appears that physical reality is like a set of training wheels, designed for minds that are incapable of functioning without external props. The goal is not to trap people forever within the allegory of physical reality, but rather to use this allegory to teach people how to live within ultimate reality. The Star Trek episode about simulated reality ends with the computer-generated people exploring an artificial universe in an artificial spacecraft, thinking that they have escaped to reality. In contrast, it appears that God’s plan is for humans to step off the ‘holodeck’ of physical reality into ultimate reality itself, more like the doctor of Star Trek Voyager.

Using personal experience as an illustration, I initially saw the theory of mental symmetry as merely a description of how the mind works, as well as a prescription of how to develop the mind so that it works in a more integrated fashion. But that viewpoint has changed, because mental symmetry has become capable of explaining both scientific and normal thought, as well as religion and theology. This makes it possible to go beyond suggesting that there is some ultimate reality, to actually thinking about the nature of this ultimate reality. As far as I can tell, the bottom line is that ultimate reality must 1) reflect the character of God, and 2) preserve human sanity. I have attempted to explore these two aspects using the theory of mental symmetry, because mental symmetry provides a theoretical analysis of the character of God that is consistent with what the Bible says, and it describes requirements for mental wholeness and sanity that are consistent with the findings of modern psychology.

Jesus says that a time will come when humans gain direct access to ultimate reality: “In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf” (v.26). Science currently has to learn about the universal Teacher laws of nature by going through the technical thinking of incarnation; Jesus has to request of the Father on behalf of humans. However, a day is coming, when one will approach God the Father directly in the name of Incarnation. Technical thought will still be required because one is asking in the name of Jesus. But humans will have direct access to universal law in Teacher thought. And by direct access I do not just mean gaining an understanding of universal law, but being able to ask God to make changes to universal law. The Greek word translated ask does not mean to ask for information, but rather to make a request. This may sound like an unusual interpretation, but I suggest that the average Christian does not grasp what it means to ask God the Father, or what receiving an answer from God entails. God the Father deals with universal laws. Therefore, when God the Father answers, then everything changes, similar to the way that everything changed (at least for a while) after the fall of communism, or the overthrow of Nazism.

The standard theological interpretation of this passage is that the sacrifice of Jesus opened the door for humans to approach God directly instead of having to go through the Jewish sacrificial system. This may be an accurate interpretation, but what does it mean, and why is it true? Cognitively speaking, a mental concept of incarnation makes it possible to have meaningful interaction between a mental concept of God in Teacher thought and personal identity in Mercy thought. This internal content removes the need to impose structure externally upon the mind through the use of physical rituals involving sacrificial animals. But the same principle applies at a deeper level. A more complete mental concept of incarnation makes it possible to have meaningful interaction between universal laws in Teacher thought and personal existence in Mercy thought. This more complete internal concept of Incarnation—this time with a capital ‘I’—removes the need to impose structure externally upon the mind through a physical universe with unchanging technical laws. In other words, if one looks at the cognitive meaning behind the standard theological interpretation, then one discovers that there are larger implications involving reality itself. This shift illustrates the type of paradigm shift that will be occurring during this time. People will be discovering the deeper meanings behind the physical ‘allegory’, because they will be approaching existence itself from the vantage point of a general Teacher understanding. Again, I should emphasize that I am not talking about exploring some alternate reality while one’s physical body still resides safely within physical reality. That type of ‘exploring’ is already being done today. Instead, I am talking about really exploring the nature of reality by physically interacting with altered reality. My guess is that this experimenting will start off fairly small and then grow in extent.

Jesus emphasizes the vantage point of a general Teacher understanding in the next verse: “for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father” (v.27). People have submitted emotionally and personally to Incarnation and have believed that Incarnation is based in God the Father. This mental structure makes it possible for God the Father to love these believers.

As an Incarnation, Jesus descended from God in Teacher thought down to human existence in Mercy thought: “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world” (v.28). Incarnation is now returning to God in Teacher thought, making it possible for humans to deal with God at a more general level: “I am leaving the world again and going to the Father” (v.28).

Cosmic Culture Shock 16:29-33

The disciples finally grasp this. They stop using the technical thinking of incarnation to deal with the allegories of ultimate reality and start thinking about ultimate reality itself: “His disciples said, ‘Lo, now You are speaking plainly and are not using a figure of speech’” (v.29). They now “know that You know all things” (v.30). More literally, they have a ‘seeing that becomes knowing’ that Incarnation has a ‘seeing that becomes knowing’ of everything. Empirical evidence—seeing that becomes knowing—is telling them that Incarnation is behind everything. And this empirical evidence is leading them to believe that Incarnation descends from God in Teacher thought: “By this we believe that You came from God” (v.30).

People sometimes ask me if I am already experiencing some form of mind-over-matter. As of July 2017, the answer is emphatically no. Instead, I am driven by the longing described in Romans 8:23, and I am trying to prepare for the future by approaching current physical reality as a simulation of ultimate reality, guided by the theory of mental symmetry. And when I read the Bible from this perspective, then it makes sense.

Jesus responds to the disciples’ belief in a dismissive fashion: “Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own [home]” (v.31-32). (The word ‘home’ is not in the original Greek.) (Note from 2023: This may correspond to Hebrews 5 where people get stuck on basics after a major transition has happened.)

Literally speaking, this refers to the disciples scattering when Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. But Jesus is also describing a deep cognitive principle. In simple language, disciples are about to be faced with a deep form of culture shock. One experiences culture shock when one’s MMNs of culture are threatened by the experiences of a strange culture. Imagine the culture shock that would happen if one started to realize at a deep personal level that the familiar rules of physical reality itself could be changed. Normal culture shock does not happen immediately because it takes time for mental networks to feel threatened. Instead, visiting a foreign country is initially exciting and exhilarating, and the culture shock kicks in later when one realizes how different things are. Similarly, the disciples are responding with the exhilaration of discovering ultimate Teacher understanding. But Jesus warns that this will soon be followed by a culture shock that will drive each person to be ‘scattered to his own’, trying to find emotional comfort in familiar MMNs.

It is interesting that almost every angelic encounter in the Bible starts with the angel telling the human to ‘fear not’. Similarly, UFO stories commonly describe humans responding with a fear that transcends normal fear as they encounter intelligent beings who are not subject to the laws of nature. Jesus is predicting that this sort of gut response will occur.

Something similar happened to the disciples at a lesser level in the actual garden of Gethsemane, because the response of Jesus violated the disciples’ fundamental concept of a conquering, liberating Messiah. They could not conceive of Jesus actually submitting to Judas and allowing Judas to betray him. Peter tried to protect his concept of Messiah by pulling out a sword and slashing the ear off a servant. But Jesus then healed the servant’s ear, rebuked Peter, and submitted to captivity. Saying this more generally, one of the primary reasons why Judaism rejects Jesus as Messiah is because he does not fit their image of a conquering, liberating Messiah. (But notice that this kind of conquering Messiah assumes that matter will continue to rule over mind.)

Returning now to the cosmic paradigm shift, Jesus predicts that this will lead to a split within the minds of the disciples, because they will “leave Me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” (v.32). In other words, personal identity will run away from the implications of technical thought, somewhat like the Amish running away from modern technology. But the relationship between technical thought and a concept of God in Teacher thought will remain intact. The research will continue, but people will shy away from the personal implications of this research. Using cognitive language, Teacher thought will find the research fascinating, technical thought will be intrigued by the resulting intellectual puzzles, while Mercy thought will want to run away and hide in some place safe and familiar.

Jesus’ next statement implies that people will be feeling personally fragmented, because he promises peace: “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace” (v.33). The word translated peace is related to the Hebrew word shalom and means ‘wholeness, when all essential parts are joined together’. The source of peace will be words in Teacher thought, because Jesus is speaking these things in order to give peace. And peace will be found by personally living within Incarnation. Cognitively, this means that personal identity can find wholeness in the structure provided by Incarnation. This is another aspect of the paradigm shift that was just discussed. Spiritual technology can help personal identity but it does not provide a home for personal identity, because spiritual is modifying technology, and technology involves the world of objects. But when spiritual becomes the noun and technology the modifier, then it becomes possible to find personal wholeness within Incarnation.

Using history as a partial illustration, during the Industrial Revolution, the gadgets of technology were largely limited to the factory and the workplace. Technology was an adjective that being added to normal existence. But during the Consumer Revolution, technological gadgets invaded the home, making it impossible to escape from technology. Today, every home comes prewired with electric power, telephone, and Internet, and living without technology is now an aberration from normality.

Jesus gives one final word of advice: “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (v.33). The word translated tribulation is ‘used of a narrow place that hems someone in’. There is squeezing, but not necessarily pain and suffering. Revelation 7:14 refers to the Great Tribulation, and I suggested in the essay on Revelation that this describes a time of narrowness when all of existence is being squeezed into the specializations of technical thought. Such a squeezing will naturally occur in a time such as ours when technical thought is regarded as the only valid form of thinking—which implies that we are currently living during the time of the Great Tribulation. But it will also occur if one is trying to run away from the TMN of a concept of God and avoid dealing with MMNs of personal identity. And that is precisely what the world would be feeling at this time. People are coming into direct contact with God in Teacher thought and this is affecting them personally in Mercy thought. In the same way that one can run away from personal problems by burying oneself in work, so technical specialization would be an effective way of running away from what is happening emotionally at that time (and specialization is often used today to run away from God and/or personal issues). Thus, Jesus says that ‘in the world you have tribulation’. In the original Greek, the pronoun ‘you’ is not mentioned explicitly but rather assumed by the conjugation of the verb ‘to have’. Therefore the emphasis is upon the condition of tribulation that exists in the world and not upon people being persecuted.

Jesus says ‘but take courage’. ‘But’ implies that one should choose to follow a different form of thinking. And the word translated take courage means literally ‘to radiate warm confidence because of being warmhearted’. In other words, instead of avoiding emotional uncertainty by choosing the narrowness of objective specialization, one should internally embrace internal emotions of understanding and identity.

This is because ‘I have overcome the world’. The word translated overcome is nike, which means ‘to come off victorious, and implies a battle’. Saying this cognitively, two mindsets are in competition. On the one hand, there is the new mindset in which one embraces MMNs of spirituality that find their existence in the TMN of a concept of God—identifying personally with spiritual existence, while continuing to live within the current physical universe. On the other hand, there is the old mindset of objective, specialized, technical thought, based in the assumption that spiritual technology is merely a temporary disturbance and that the laws of the physical universe will continue unchanged. In simple terms, Jesus is warning believers to embrace the winning side. Incarnation has won the victory over materialism. Therefore, it is important to embrace Incarnation, no matter how unsettling this might feel. And if this does not feel unsettling, then I suggest that one does not truly grasp what it would feel like if God stepped in to start tweaking the laws of nature.

I think that I know personally what this means. I have mentioned that I am trying to treat current physical reality as a simulation of ultimate reality. It is a challenge to continue thinking and acting in this manner, and I think that this is what spiritual technology would feel like, because one would use spiritual technology while continuing to find one’s emotional stability in physical reality. However, I am currently struggling at a deeper emotional level of finding joy and happiness in preparing for ultimate reality. I am not talking about becoming psychotic by living in fantasy. The physical universe with its natural laws is a valid expression of the character of God, and one will always live within some form of reality that is based in universal laws which need to be respected because they reflect the character of God. Instead, I am talking about the kind of joy and emotional contentment that Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13. As everyone knows, the beginning of that chapter talks about love. But Paul then makes a transition to discussing altered reality. In other words, 1 Corinthians 13 is not just an ideal to which one aspires, or a passage upon which one preaches at weddings. Instead, I suggest that it describes the kind of mindset that will be required to live within ultimate reality. We saw something similar a few pages earlier when examining the requirements for living within the new heaven-and-earth. The end of John 16 describes the very first steps of making the transition to a universe in which love is a prerequisite and not just an unreachable ideal.

I know it feels as if we have crossed from theology into science fiction, from the Bible into Star Trek. But I suggest that there is a crucial difference between what I am suggesting and what Star Trek and similar programs portray. In brief, I suggest that Star Trek suffers from fundamental theological hypocrisy. (I mention Star Trek because I am familiar with the series and because it is the most popular example of this genre.) It portrays beings like Q with godlike powers, while sidestepping the concept of God. It describes many intelligent species with non-corporeal existence, while continuing to insist that human existence ceases at physical death. It says that civilized society has achieved a mindset that transcends war, greed, and inhumanity, while at the same time treating war, greed, and inhumanity as fundamental categories of intelligent thought—to the extent of defining entire species of intelligent beings by these character flaws: Klingons are medieval warriors driven by honor, Ferengi are obsessed with profit and trade, and Vulcans are technical thinkers who suppress their emotions. It portrays a scientifically advanced society, while using technobabble to substitute for real scientific understanding. (In contrast, I am attempting to avoid religious technobabble: theological terms and doctrines that sound holy but have no definable meaning within current reality.) And it is a story of travelers on a spaceship who are using rational thought to explore the universe, while at the same time many of the stories start with the laws of nature being overturned in some random, arbitrary manner.

The reason for this hypocrisy is obvious. The bottom line for Star Trek is not ‘to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man is gone before’, but rather to create television programs that people will watch. Thus, Star Trek pretends to address ultimate questions, but it can never pursue its answers to their logical conclusions, because that would question the spirit of the world, and people would stop watching. (Every television show is ultimately governed by what people will watch, but most television shows do not pretend to explore new worlds, seek out new civilizations, and boldly go into the unknown.) In contrast, I am trying to address these ultimate questions, and I am trying to pursue the answers to their logical conclusions, even if this threatens the spirit of the world and results in no audience, because my ultimate belief is that there is a God who cares and who will reward those who diligently seek Him. The actors of Star Trek are all performing for human approval, and they have received their reward in full. I am still waiting for my reward from God.

My purpose is not to attack Star Trek, or to expect anything more from this kind of television show. Instead, I am trying to make it clear that pursuing spiritual technology requires a far deeper commitment than it takes to become a fan of Star Trek, largely because spiritual technology means actually tackling issues which shows like Star Trek address in only a surface manner. But programs such as Star Trek do present interesting questions, even if they only provide inadequate answers.

Authority over Flesh 17:1-10

John 17 is commonly referred to as the High Priestly Prayer. I suggest that this prayer is not just religious, poetic language. Instead, Jesus is asking God the Father to implement a new system of existence based upon the paradigm shift that happened in John 16.

The chapter begins with Jesus changing his focus of attention from concrete thought to abstract thought: “Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven” (v.1). Until now, he has been talking to the disciples, who live in specific experience in Mercy thought. He now starts talking to God who deals with generality in Teacher thought. We saw from the story of the blind beggar in John 9 that eyes represent Perceiver thought. Therefore, lifting one’s eyes up to heaven implies using Perceiver thought to think about general principles rather than specific facts.

Teacher thought generalizes by taking specific items and promoting them, somewhat like taking a person off the street and crowning that person to be monarch. The paradigm shift at the end of John 16 has provided the seed of a new form of existence, because the disciples are viewing the spiritual and the personal as more fundamental than the physical and objective, and they are finding stability in incarnation rather than just in technical thought. Jesus now asks God the Father to generalize this new seed of existence: “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You: (v.1). Notice that Jesus is also focusing upon the personal by describing his relationship to God in personal terms: ‘glorify Your Son’.

Jesus explicitly states that incarnation is now more fundamental than objective physical existence: “even as You gave Him authority over all flesh” (v.2). The word translated flesh describes the physical aspect of human existence, the part of the mind that is programmed from living in the physical body in a physical world. ‘Authority over all flesh’ tells us that a paradigm shift has occurred. Spiritual existence under Incarnation now has the authority, and the physical existence of the flesh is under this authority. ‘All flesh’ tells us that this is a global paradigm shift without exceptions. The result is eternal life: “that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life” (v.2). The phrase eternal life is another indication that something new has come to replace the mortal existence of the flesh. This overruling of mortal existence is not for everyone, but rather for those who submit to the TMN of God and to Incarnation. But notice also that God the Father is being placed above Incarnation: ‘all whom You have given’. This is another indication that technical thought is now being placed within mental networks of life. Spiritual is now the noun and technology the adjective. Actually, God is now the noun and science is the adjective, because Jesus has turned his attention from the concrete realm of spirit and technology to the abstract realm of God and science.

Summarizing, what Jesus has said so far is consistent with the idea of a paradigm shift in which the spiritual now rules over the physical—in the personal realm.

Jesus defines eternal life more clearly: “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (v.3). The word translated know means ‘experiential knowledge’. ‘Only’ in Greek is monos, from which we get the term Monotheism. True describes fundamental truth in Perceiver thought. Teacher and Perceiver are the two cognitive modules that contain the content of abstract thought. Again, one sees a fully developed concept of God in abstract thought, and this fully developed concept of God is the source of Incarnation. Saying this cognitively, integrated abstract understanding provides the basis for technical thought. And Incarnation is described using the full name of Jesus Christ, telling us that Jesus, the concrete side of technical thought, has become integrated with Christ, the abstract side of technical thought. Jesus defines eternal life as an experiential knowledge of ‘the only true God and Jesus Christ’. This tells us that one is not dealing here with mere theological language, but rather with living in ultimate personal reality, guided by a deep understanding of the nature of God and Incarnation.

Jesus then describes what we have just said in personal terms: “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (v.4). The word translated accomplish means ‘working through the entire process to reach the final conclusion’. Incarnation has completed the task of ‘glorifying God on the earth’. The earth represents rational thought. Therefore, glorifying God on the earth means submitting all of rational thought to an integrated concept of God.

Looking at the big picture, if scientific thought had existed at that time, then Jesus could have actually finished the job that he came to do through living a human existence on earth. But because science did not exist, Jesus could only talk about finishing the job. He could carry out the job completely in verbal abstract form, and record this for future generations. But this job will actually be completed in the future as described by the book of Revelation.

Jesus then turns to the very big picture: “Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (v.5). Now that disciples of Jesus understand the true nature of God, it is time to remove the ‘training wheels’ of physical existence and reveal the ultimate reality that existed ‘before the world was’. Incarnation and God the Father will now start to cooperate the way that they did before the allegory of physical existence was created.

Jesus describes what this means for his followers: “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world” (v.6). They have become aware of the name of God in Teacher thought, and this understanding of God in Teacher thought has taken them out of the world and placed them within the new system of Incarnation. These followers have found internal stability in the general words of God the Father, and this general understanding has led them to Incarnation: “they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word” (v.6). They now realize that all technical thought is based in a Teacher understanding of God: “Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You” (v.7). Going the other way, general theories in Teacher thought have been translated into technical thinking, and this technical thinking has been applied to personal identity, resulting in a true personal knowledge that Incarnation comes from God: “for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me” (v.8).

The World

‘The world’ is normally interpreted as cultural MMNs together with childish MMNs. Thus, ‘being taken out of the world’ is seen as submitting internally to the rule of Jesus rather being ruled by the demands of society. This is a valid interpretation, but I suggest that it is only part of the picture. John defines what he means by ‘the world’ in 1 John: “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:15-17). John mentions three components to ‘the world’: First, there is the ‘passion built on strong feelings’ of the flesh. Looking at this cognitively, these are the mental networks that physical experiences of pain and pleasure impose upon the mind. For instance, it feels good to eat food. Eating food can turn into the strong passion of gluttony. The problem is not with physical desire but rather with the isolated mental networks that drive people to satisfy physical desires in a hedonistic manner. Second, there is the ‘passion built on strong feelings’ of the eyes. The eyes represent Perceiver thought, because Perceiver thought uses the eyes to recognize objects and learn facts about physical reality. The lust of the eyes would describe mental networks based in physical objects and empirical evidence. The problem is not with using Perceiver thought to analyze the world but rather with following an attitude of ‘seeing is believing’. Instead, one needs to recognize that seeing always occurs within a context of believing, because one is inevitably viewing the world through the glasses of some paradigm. Third, there is the ‘boastful pride of life’. Boastful pride refers to ‘a vagabond making empty boasts about having cures to cure people of all their ills’, while the word translated life is bios, which refers to biological life. This describes the mindset of materialism, “which holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental things and consciousness, are results of material interactions”. Materialism is ‘a vagabond making empty boasts about curing all ills’. It is a vagabond because it views personal existence as living for a few short decades and then vanishing from the scene. It makes empty boasts because it glorifies human existence against a backdrop of inevitable personal annihilation. And it claims to cure all ills, because it declares itself to be vastly superior to what it regards as the misguided thinking of religion.

If one equates ‘the world’ with the mental networks of culture and hedonism, then one is focusing only upon the first aspect of ‘the world’. However, ‘the world’ also includes the deeper aspect of building one’s truth purely upon physical, empirical evidence. If this assumption is to be successfully challenged, then objects and facts must extend beyond physical reality to include the non-physical. That describes spiritual technology. Going further, the world also includes basing personal existence upon the physical body. If that assumption is to be successfully challenged, then personal existence must extend beyond the biological to include the spiritual. That describes the paradigm shift that occurs when spiritual becomes the noun and technology the adjective. (Note from 2023: Acts 11 suggests that biological DNA was originally designed and constructed by a form of angels that could be referred to as primal beings. Encountering these beings would force physical existence to go beyond the biological to the spiritual.)

John precedes his definition of ‘the world’ in 1 John by describing the struggle that we are discussing: “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). If one loves the world, then one is not being internally guided by a TMN of God the Father. John follows his definition of ‘the world’ by describing the result of this struggle: “the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” (v.17).

Summarizing, ‘loving the world’ includes hedonism and various forms of idolatry, but it extends beyond this to include a demand for empirical evidence, as well as the mindset of materialism. Many Christians think that they are not loving the world because they are not being driven by hedonism and idolatry the way that their neighbors are, while at the same time loving the world at a deeper level by building physical kingdoms for their biological bodies. Therefore, it is important to interpret John 17 in a way that includes all three aspects of ‘the world’ and not just the moral aspect.

At the end of John 16, the disciples stated that they now understand everything clearly, and Jesus predicted that they would soon get caught in cosmic culture shock. The disciples have now gotten over their culture shock, and they have a personal knowledge of what they intellectually grasped in John 16:29. Using science as a partial example, what is being described is the sort of research that physicists are now starting to perform. Initially, science was used to develop gadgets that fit within the human world of common sense. Electronics extended beyond the realm of common sense by harnessing the strange effects of quantum mechanics, and by constructing miniature devices with mind-boggling complexity. Scientists are now starting to perform experiments that totally violate common sense. Thus, researchers are acquiring an experiential knowledge of what it really means for the natural world to be guided by the universal Teacher laws of physics, as interpreted by the technical thinking of mathematics. It appears that Jesus is describing something similar but more fundamental in John 17.

Jesus continues by mentioning one of the major results of a paradigm shift in Teacher thought. Thomas Kuhn says that textbooks are rewritten in the aftermath of a paradigm shift in order to eliminate any thinking that was guided by the previous paradigm. Saying this more crudely, winners rewrite history. This rewriting occurs because Teacher thought hates exceptions to the rule, and the thinking of the previous paradigm has now become an exception to the rule. Jesus says something similar, “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours” (v.9). Jesus does not ask God the Father regarding those who belong to the old paradigm of physical existence. Instead he limits his request to those who are part of the new paradigm of Incarnation. Getting written out of the history books is scary enough when one is dealing with normal existence. Being excluded by God from a new realm of universal law would be truly terrifying.

Notice that Jesus is contrasting the system of the world with personal followers of God the Father. This idea of God the Father working through individual people was first introduced when looking at spiritual technology, where I suggested that personal transformation becomes the enabling factor that adds the spiritual aspect to technology. Here we see that Incarnation is asking God to complete this transfer by focusing completely upon personal enabling through transformation and letting go completely of the naturalistic system of the world.

When textbooks are rewritten in the light of a new scientific paradigm, then the end result is an internally consistent general theory—an interweaving of Teacher theory and technical incarnation. Jesus describes such an internally consistent, theoretical package: “all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them” (v.10). (Jesus is talking in this sentence to God the Father.) (Note from 2023: Remember that ‘world’ refers to a materialistic mindset and the structure of civilization. It does not refer to the physical universe. Thus, incarnation is building a new society that includes the physical universe but goes beyond materialistic thinking while the disciples still live within a society that is based upon the assumptions of materialism. Thus, the conflict is between two kinds of civilization co-existing. This clarifies the precise nature of the conflict. The principle of interacting on a contract basis still remains.)

Incarnation Transcends the World 17:11-12

At this point, Jesus is no longer in the world, but his disciples still are: “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You” (v.11). Interpreting this literally, Jesus is about to go to heaven while his disciples will remain on earth. His disciples will have to learn what it means to be ‘in the world but not of the world’. They will still live within earthly kingdoms, but their ultimate allegiance will not be to earthly authority.

A cognitive interpretation adds details to this literal interpretation. If incarnation is no longer in the world and if incarnation is coming to the Father, then technical thought is being used to increase the Teacher understanding of God—while personal identity still has to live within physical reality. For instance, my primary goal for many years has been to develop the theory of mental symmetry, and as I have mentioned several times, one can only gain an understanding of the mind if one applies what one learns. But I am also subject to the constraint of living in a physical body within the physical world as a citizen of a physical country.

The challenge is to live in physical reality in such a way that one does not violate one’s understanding of the character of God. As Jesus says, “Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are” (v.11). Notice that God the Father is being described as holy or separate, implying that one is being guided by a Teacher understanding that is different than the motivations that are guiding people in society. Saying this simply, one is marching to a different drummer. Following God may sound like an onerous restriction, but the key is recognizing that one needs to remain within the name of God the Father. God the Father deals with general theories. Therefore, remaining within the name of God the Father means behaving in a manner that is consistent with the general character of God. This general character can be fulfilled in many different specific ways, just as the mathematical equations of physics apply to many different specific situations.

In practical terms, this means interacting with the world on a contract basis. One never gives one’s heart to a system, career, person, or corporation, because that would replace the TMN of God with some other inferior mental network. Instead, one examines every potential job, project, or commitment to see if it is consistent with the character of God. If it is, then one commits to performing that specific task as if one is performing a contract. One’s coworkers may lack an understanding of God and be guided by lesser motives, but one is cooperating with others in a fragment of existence where others are behaving in a way that is compatible with mental wholeness and the character of God. This kind of interaction should be possible at this point in time because the world will be responding to the emerging kingdom of God by avoiding the subjective and specializing.

A similar mindset of objective specialization exists today, for different reasons. As long as one performs one’s job adequately, what one does in personal life is regarded as irrelevant. The average person fills this subjective vacuum with some form of childish MMNs, but it is also possible to fill this emotional vacuum with an integrated understanding of the character of God and Incarnation. In the words of Jesus, “Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are” (v.11).

Incarnation was doing this directly: “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me” (v.12). What is different now is that this is happening organically and emotionally rather than technically: Incarnation uses technical thought. Therefore, when incarnation keeps followers in the name of God, then they are being guided by a set of technical rules. When God the Father does this, then followers are being emotionally guided by a general understanding. A general understanding does not exclude technical thought, because technical thought is still needed to work out the details of the general understanding. But the motivation becomes a love for God rather than a desire to obey a set of rules. Jesus describes this principle in Matthew 22, where he says that the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself. He then adds that “on these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:40). In other words, all of the technical details of the law can be summed up by the love of God and one’s neighbor.

Looking at this relationship from a deeper perspective, the need to love God becomes greater as technology removes physical limitations. The most vivid illustration of this is provided by nuclear weapons. Throughout human history, the ultimate limitation upon human behavior has been physical capability, as expressed by the laws of nature combined with technology. In brief, if some evil act could be performed, then some person or group would perform this act. Defending groups would attempt to erect physical barriers that made it physical impossible for others to inflict evil upon them, while marauding forces would use technology to try to overcome these physical barriers. Nuclear weapons are the first major example of people being able to perform evil but choosing not to do it. Humanity could be destroyed by nuclear bombs, but so far this has not happened. I suggest that this is partially because a different emotion is being triggered. Normal evil creates bad Mercy experiences. Armies and dictators have wiped out cities and even destroyed civilizations, but humanity as a whole has always survived. Nuclear weapons, in contrast, involve Teacher emotion, because they are capable of inflicting universal harm, wiping out the entire human race and destroying the entire globe. A concept of God emerges when a sufficiently general theory in Teacher thought applies to personal identity. When it becomes possible to wreak universal destruction upon humanity, then one is entering the realm of a concept of God. And when one chooses not to destroy humanity, then in some limited but still significant way, one is choosing to be guided by a love for God and not by the technical rules of physical possibility. Many people say today that God and religion are not required for human life, but that is because they are thinking of a religious concept of God based in absolute truth, which only affects how a person feels. However, nuclear weapons threaten a concept of God that is based in universal Teacher order that affects how people live. It is inconceivable—and impossible—to live without such a God.

A similar situation would arise if God the Father took precedence over Incarnation. The dominant view in current science is that it is possible to explain all of existence using the technical thinking of scientific law. This mindset is known as scientism, and it is supported by the fact that all physical existence can be explained by the technical thinking of scientific law. Using the language of John, Jesus the Incarnation is keeping believers in the name that has been given to him by God. The physical universe is governed by universal Teacher laws that express the character of God the Father. But these universal physical laws must all be analyzed and applied by using the technical thinking of incarnation. Using the language of Thomas Kuhn, science can exist as normal science most of the time, with scientists using technical thought to solve scientific puzzles. It is only during episodes of revolutionary science, when the technical thinking of some paradigm breaks down, that a scientist comes face to face with Teacher theory. If God the Father were to take precedence over Incarnation, then coming face-to-face with Teacher theory would be the norm and performing technical puzzles would be the exception.

Using an analogy, natural law would become like the current political landscape, in which each country is ruled by its own set of technical rules—with the technical rules of one country not necessarily applying to another country. However, behind all the various political laws lies a common underlying understanding of personal well-being. Similarly, physical existence would be divided into different realms, each governed by its own set of ‘natural laws’. However, behind these various systems of law would lie an underlying understanding of the character of God and personal well-being.

In fact, my hypothesis is that creation already functions in such a manner, being divided into the physical universe, the angelic realm, and the spiritual realm, each guided by its own set of technical natural laws, with each realm expressing a different facet of the character of God. But it is not obvious to humans that creation functions in such a manner, because we cannot see beyond the ‘parable’ of physical reality to ultimate reality.

Returning to the Gospel of John, one of the primary problems of being ruled universally by a set of technical rules is that it makes the mindset of Judas possible. Jesus mentions Judas, whom he refers to as the son of perdition: “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled” (v.12). The word translated perdition actually means a ‘loss of well-being’. Teacher thought wants order-within-complexity; Teacher thought feels good when many items function together in an integrated manner. And Mercy thought enjoys the experience of living in a mind, body, or society in which everything functions together smoothly. A human experiences this as well-being or wholeness. A son of perdition is a male mindset that does not care about Teacher and Mercy feelings of well-being. This accurately describes technical thought that remains objective and ignores a concept of God. For instance, the scientist who is developing new military weapons is applying male technical thought, but it does not bother him that he is creating gadgets that will cause Teacher destruction and Mercy misery. Such a person is a son of perdition. When the universal character of God in Teacher thought always expresses itself through the technical thinking of Incarnation, then it becomes possible to become a son of perdition, because one can ignore God and people and focus upon solving technical puzzles.

Jesus says that ‘no one perished but the son of perdition’. The word translated perish has the same root as the word translated perdition. In other words, the son of perdition did not perish because of breaking some technical rule, but rather because of his inherent character. He perished because he is a ‘son of perishing’. Thus, the personal fate of a ‘son of perdition’ demonstrates that mental networks of personal character are more fundamental than technical thought. And this happened ‘so that the Scripture would be fulfilled’. Jesus is recognizing that his behavior is also guided by a more fundamental written plan of God the Father.

Disciples Transcend the World 17:13-17

In verse 11 Jesus said that he was ‘no longer in the world’. In verses 13-19, the relationship of the disciples to the world change. Jesus begins by describing his current state: “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves” (v.13). Interpreting this literally, Jesus is talking to his disciples, realizing that he is about to die and return to God. Looking at this cognitively, technical thought is being motivated by Teacher emotions, because Jesus is ‘coming to God’. Integrated technical thought can be driven by either Mercy or Teacher emotions. For instance, a car is a physical illustration of technical thought because it contains many parts that function together in a precise manner. Mercy emotions will drive technical thought to use a car to help people and reach destinations: ‘I am taking the car to pick up Aunt Alice to take her to the grocery store’. Teacher emotions will drive technical thought to adjust the functioning of a car so that it runs more smoothly and more efficiently: ‘I replaced the spark plugs and changed the oil. The car should run better now’. Jesus is being guided by a desire to fill up the Teacher emotion of joy: “so that they may have My joy made full in themselves’. He is doing this by ‘speaking in the world’. Saying this cognitively, he is using the abstract thinking of words to affect the content of the world. This relates to the comments made earlier about living in the world on a contract basis. Previously we looked at the negative side of what this means. One must never give one’s heart to a career or person but only perform jobs or projects that are consistent with the character of God. Here Jesus is describing the positive side of what this means. Incarnation is taking these fragments of human existence and using abstract thought to reassemble them in order to fit the character of God the Father.

Using an analogy, living on a contract basis means viewing the world as a construction made out of Lego bricks. Each job or project is like a Lego brick. Before performing some job or project, one examines that brick to see if it fits within the structure that God is building. On the negative side, this means that one is continually pulling bricks out and examining them. On the positive side, it means that these bricks are being reassembled to create a structure that reflects the character of God. For instance, I have felt for many years that human society would be much better if the existing fragments were reassembled in a different manner. The world contains many fragments of goodness. But these fragments have been assembled in a manner that leads to a mixture of heaven and hell. Human life could be made far more heavenly and far less hellish simply by reassembling these existing fragments in a different manner.

Reassembling the ‘Lego bricks’ of the world will provoke an emotional response. Perceiver facts and Server sequences are not emotional, and neither is technical thought which is composed of facts and sequences. But when one takes bricks and assembles them into a structure, then this structure will create Teacher emotion, because the assembly is an example of Teacher order-within-complexity. And when one takes an existing structure and reassembles the bricks to form a different structure, then this will create negative Teacher emotions. Jesus describes this response: “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (v.14). Saying this cognitively, the disciples have reassembled the technical fragments of existence to be an expression of the character of God in Teacher thought. The Teacher structure of the world is now being challenged by a different structure that reflects God’s character. The world responds with hatred because a mental network hates to be faced with incompatible input.

The end result is that the disciples are ‘in the world but not of the world’. Notice that the disciples are not just rebelling from the world in some sort of counter-cultural manner. That type of rebellion does not threaten the system of the world, because those who rebel from society are still thinking in terms of the categories and mindset of society. Instead, the disciples are not of the world even as Jesus is not of the world. The word translated even as means ‘according to the manner in which, in the degree that’. Thus, the disciples are following the pattern set by Incarnation and not just rebelling from the pattern set by the world.

Jesus wants this stressful situation to continue: “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil [one]” (v.15). (The word ‘one’ is not in the original Greek.) The disciples are supposed to continue living in the content of the world. But Jesus asks God to protect the disciples from assembling this content in a way that leads to painful results. (The word translated evil means ‘pain-ridden, emphasizing the inevitable agonies and misery that always go with evil’.) There are two cognitive reasons for Jesus’ request. First, most of the content of the world is good and needs to be retained. This is illustrated by today’s technological society. Technology is helpful, and most technological gadgets are useful. But technology is often being used in ways that are childish, chaotic, or even destructive. The goal of Incarnation is to place science and technology within a context that is mature, structured, and personally beneficial. Second, Perceiver and Server content needs to be backed up by confidence. Confidence is the ability to hold on to a fact or follow a sequence despite emotional pressure. Science avoids this problem by trying to remain objective. However, Incarnation cannot ignore the need for confidence because incarnation extends beyond technical thought to include mental networks with their emotions. The stress of reassembling the Lego bricks of the world while being hated by the world builds the confidence that is required to go beyond technical thought to incarnation.

For instance, it would have been much more pleasant for me to develop the theory of mental symmetry in a collegial environment of academic approval. But this would not have given me the desire, need, or confidence to tackle the major questions that I have had to address. In fact, the only reason that I have gone beyond a purely cognitive interpretation to include the supernatural is because of the unrelenting rejection that I have experienced from others. Without this rejection, I might have included the supernatural as a theoretical possibility, but this rejection is forcing me to turn personally to the supernatural realm for help because all lesser options have failed.

When one experiences such hatred, then it is easy to respond from a Mercy perspective by thinking in terms of us-versus-them. Jesus asks God for positive guidance from Teacher thought: “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (v.18). Sanctify means to ‘set apart as holy’. Thus, it should be possible to distinguish between ‘us’ and ‘them’, between those who have been set apart as holy and the rest of the population. But this distinction will not be based in MMNs of culture but rather in Perceiver truth. The word translated true means ‘true to fact; reality as the opposite of illusion’. Thus, some people will be facing the new reality, while others will not. Some will use Perceiver thought to integrate the various fragments of existence, while others will hide in technical specialization. Such a distinction is becoming apparent today, because the average person no longer respects truth, and those who pursue truth are becoming a distinct group. Jesus adds that ‘Your word is truth’. The word for ‘word’ is logos, the same word used to describe Jesus at the very beginning of John 1. In other words, the ultimate basis for truth is not empirical evidence but rather TMNs based in the unchanging character of God in Teacher thought. This would become the case in physical reality if God the Father was lifted up above Incarnation, and the technical laws of nature became malleable.

Fractal Plan of Incarnation 17:18-21

The result is not chaos or confusion but rather an enacting of the plan of incarnation: “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (v.18). This is a significant statement because it means that John 1-17 is not just a historical description of Jesus but also presents a general plan that is supposed to be followed by others. In other words, it is valid to analyze the gospel of John from a cognitive perspective in order to derive general principles. Notice that this statement occurs in the last chapter of this sequence. The disciples have finally reached the stage where they are capable of following the same process of descending from God to earth that was first carried out by Jesus. (Note from 2023: A similar handing over of details to disciples by Incarnation can be seen in Hebrews 9.)

Looking at this personally, I have mentioned numerous times that the description of John resonates with my personal experience. Verse 18 tells us that this sort of thing is supposed to happen. Incarnation wants others to be sent into the world the same way that God sent him into the world. Notice also that Jesus is making a request to God the Father. The typical Contributor goal is to become founder and president, by starting some company and then remaining in control of that company. Jesus is not doing this. Instead, he is turning to Teacher thought for expansion. Instead of controlling others so that they can become carbon copies of him, he is asking God to use Teacher understanding to lead others on paths that are similar to his path.

Speaking again from personal experience, I did not read the Gospel of John many decades ago and then decide to follow a similar path. Instead, I was led by Teacher thought to develop the theory of mental symmetry, and the process of developing this theory caused me to follow a personal path of transformation. As I was analyzing the Gospel of John, I recognized that I had been following a path that was similar to the path of Incarnation.

Jesus explains in the next verse that he will not follow the typical Contributor path of hands-on control. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth” (v.19). Jesus will set himself apart from how the world functions so that his disciples can be set apart by truth, instead of by lesser methods.

When technical thought expands in this indirect manner through Teacher understanding, then the end result is a form of fractal expansion. A fractal is a simple pattern that is reproduced in different places at different scales in slightly different ways. The most famous fractal pattern is the Mandelbrot set, and one can download apps to explore the Mandelbrot set. When technical thought is used to replicate something, then this leads to mass production, in which many copies of the same identical item are reproduced. This is useful but it is also limited, because it is like having every instrument in an orchestra play exactly the same notes in unison. Fractal reproduction, in contrast, is like having the instruments of an orchestra play notes in harmony. The same general Teacher pattern is being followed by all of the instruments, but each instrument is expressing this pattern in a slightly different manner, leading to Teacher order-within-complexity.

For instance, the Mandelbrot set is generated by the simple equation znew = (zold)2 + c, with c being a complex number that defines the coordinate point (and z also being a complex number). This simple equation is not evaluated as a function with input and output, the way that technical thought normally treats a mathematical equation. Instead, the equation is applied repeatedly for each coordinate point in order to observe the behavior of z. The color of some coordinate point c depends upon how fast z increases when one starts with that value of c. In other words, the fractal complexity emerges when each individual point is allowed to express the same general equation in its own unique manner. Similarly, fractal structure emerges with people when Incarnation gives disciples the freedom to express the universal equations of God the Father in their own unique manner. The end result is harmony with Incarnation, but not a carbon copy of Incarnation. Jesus can give his disciples this freedom without fearing loss of control, because everything that Incarnation does is ultimately based in the Teacher understanding of God the Father.

The next statement of Jesus deals with the implications of fractal reproduction: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word” (v.20). If disciples are following a path that is in harmony with the path followed by Jesus, then this may attract followers. Jesus does not respond in a controlling fashion by insisting that these followers must use his official, religious vocabulary. Instead, he recognizes that a person can believe in Jesus while using the vocabulary of a disciple who is following a path that is in harmony with the path of Incarnation.

The end result is not fragmentation but rather integration at a general level: “that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us” (v.21). Jesus is asking that all of the followers of Incarnation become unified: ‘that they may all be one’. But this unification is supposed to happen at the level of abstract thought: ‘Even as you, Father, are in Me and I in you’. As science illustrates, technical thought integrates with general Teacher theories at the level of general equations and variables: exemplars and Platonic forms. The integration between those who follow Jesus directly and those who follow a path that is fractally similar to the path of Jesus is supposed to happen at the level of equations and variables: ‘that they also may be in Us’.

At a specific level, this would apply to different languages and denominations. It is possible to contextualize the message of Christianity as long as the essential characteristics of incarnation remain intact. At a more general level, suppose that the message of Christianity is translated into the language of science, the language of Judaism, or the language of mental symmetry. Following this translated message is valid, if the translation retains the essential characteristics of the path of incarnation, and if followers are believing in Incarnation through the words of this translation. At the most general level, suppose that one lives within a realm that is governed by different natural laws. It should be possible to translate the message of Christianity in a way that retains the essential characteristics of the path of Incarnation.

Using science as a partial example of this principle, it is possible to formulate the same general laws of physics in different ways. Each of these formulations is equally valid, because they are all verbal descriptions of the same general laws of nature. I am not suggesting that ‘all religions are equally valid’, because most religions do not follow the path of incarnation but rather implement some combination of mysticism, blind faith, and idolatry. And I should also point out that Jesus is making this statement when three qualifications have been met: There is an understanding in Teacher thought of God and Incarnation; disciples are personally applying this understanding in Mercy thought; people know that there is more to existence than physical reality. These three qualifications would lead to an adequate concept of the Trinitarian God, which would ensure that translations of the path of incarnation would retain the essence of the Christian message.

This multifaceted message of salvation will not weaken the message of salvation but rather convince the world that Jesus really is from God: “so that the world may believe that You sent Me” (v.21). When Christianity is taught as absolute truth by a specific group of people quoting from a specific holy book, then this implicitly conveys the message that Christianity is merely some group using emotional status in Mercy thought to impose its views upon the rest of the population. That describes how the average secular person views Christianity today. However, if many groups independently teach the same fundamental message of Christian salvation in their own words, then this implicitly conveys the message that Christianity is based in universal principles that express the character of a monotheistic God.

Multi-faceted Glory 17:22-26

Going further, Jesus also wants multi-faceted glory: “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one” (v.22). Notice that Jesus is not asking God to glorify messages that are in harmony with his message. Instead, he is informing God that he is giving glory to these similar messages. That is because Incarnation is—and remains—the intermediary between God and man. Glory has to come from God the Father to humanity through Incarnation. Jesus is informing God the Father in order to lead to further Teacher order-within-complexity. That is because there will be integration: ‘that they may be one’, and this integration will be based upon similar patterns: ‘just as We are one’. The word translated just as means, ‘according to the manner in which, in the degree that, just as’. Using a musical analogy, Jesus is telling God the conductor that it is good for more musicians to join the orchestra because they will be playing the same piece in harmony, adding richness to the music.

Multi-faceted glory will lead to deeper unity and a deeper understanding by the world: “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me” (v.23). When one is dealing with the glory of concrete experience, then Incarnation is the intermediary between God in Teacher thought and human existence in Mercy thought. Incarnation is finding glory in human experience, and God the Father is finding glory in Incarnation. This will lead to a more complete order-within-complexity. The phrase ‘perfected in unity’ is more literally ‘working through the entire process to reach the final conclusion of one’. The mystic uses Teacher overgeneralization to claim that ‘All is One’. At the end of John 17, after following the entire path of incarnation, the disciples of Incarnation finally reach the stage where it can legitimately be said that ‘all is one’. But this will be a multi-faceted oneness, and not a oneness of overgeneralization that cannot handle any details.

In verse 21, the world believed that God sent Jesus. In verse 23, the world knows experientially that God sent Jesus. That is because the integration has descended from the level of theory to include concrete experience. The world will also know that Incarnation loves his disciples ‘according to the manner in which’ God the Father loves Incarnation. The victory of Incarnation over the world is now complete, because the entire message of incarnation has been conveyed to the world at an experiential level.

It is now time for the disciples of Incarnation to leave the world and join God in ultimate reality: “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world” (v.24). Jesus is living with God in abstract thought. Jesus wants his disciples to ‘be with me where I am’, so that they can ‘gaze on for the purpose of analyzing’ the glory that God the Father has given to Incarnation. In other words, Jesus wants to give his disciples empirical evidence of divine glory. And this seeing is of the divine love that existed ‘before the foundation of the world’. This does not mean being swallowed up in the divine in some sort of mystical version of Nirvana. Instead, I suggest that it means directly experiencing the ultimate reality that lies behind the parable of the physical universe, a reality that one will be able to gaze upon—not for the ecstasy of mystical worship—but for the purpose of analyzing.

Jesus makes this clear in the next verse: “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known” (v.25-26). Jesus does not address God as transcendent and unknowable, but rather as righteous, telling us that God behaves in a certain manner because of his inherent character. The world currently does not have an experiential knowledge of this sort of God. One can tell that this is the case, because our discussion continually has to point out that God is righteous and not incomprehensibly transcendent. However, we have seen from our analysis of the Gospel of John that Jesus does have an experiential knowledge of God as a righteous Father. And the disciples of Incarnation have acquired, and will continue to acquire, an experiential knowledge of the name of God.

The final goal is not to have correct theology, but rather to be infused with the love of God for Incarnation: “so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them” (v.26). Again one sees Jesus going beyond technical thought to living within mental networks. But these mental networks still express the content of incarnation because Jesus adds ‘and I in them’.


We began by looking at the prophecy of Daniel. Let us conclude by revisiting this passage: “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place” (Daniel 9:24). As I pointed out at the beginning of the essay on the Gospel of John, the only result that Jesus was able to achieve was to make atonement for iniquity.

By the end of John 17, all of these prophecies have been fulfilled. Transgression is finished, because the world is no longer the dominant system. Sin has come to an end, because even the world knows at the level of personal experience that following God and Incarnation leads to personal salvation. Everlasting righteousness has been brought in, because the disciples of Incarnation follow God in a righteous manner even when experiencing ultimate reality. Vision and prophecy have been sealed up, because the parable of physical reality has been replaced by direct experience of ultimate reality. Finally, the most holy place has been anointed, because a group of disciples now live within the presence of God. These prophecies will not be fulfilled if John 13-17 talks merely about cognitive development. Cognitive transformation is imperative, but it is not enough. Instead, the ‘parable’ of physical reality must itself be set aside, which means going through spiritual technology and spiritual identity to the transformation of reality itself.

My thesis is that Jesus could have carried out this plan to completion if science had been discovered in Alexandria. But that did not happen, and so Jesus was only able to make atonement for iniquity. However, science now exists, and scientific thought has developed to the point where it is now possible for Incarnation to start implementing the remaining aspects of this plan.

Going further, John 18-21 appears to prophesy how the remainder of this plan will be carried out in history. John 18 makes sense as a description of history from the time of Christ as well as a projection into the near future, and we will now examine John 18. There are too many variables to be able to make definitive statements about John 19-21. Therefore, the analysis of the Gospel of John will stop at the end of John 18.

(Note from 2018. After analyzing the book of Hebrews, I found that it was possible to finish looking at the Gospel of John.)

Jesus Crosses the Kidron 18:1

John 14 talked about the betrayal of Judas as well as Peter’s three denials of Jesus. We interpreted both of these as symbolic of general mindsets that betray and deny incarnation. John 18 describes these events, which we will interpret symbolically from a historical perspective. This does not mean that John 18 has only symbolic significance. As always, God deals with general principles that are applicable in many situations, extending all the way from personal life to the history of Civilization.

Chapter 18 begins with a transition: “When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the ravine of the Kidron, where there was a garden, in which He entered with His disciples” (v.1). As the NASB points out, the word translated ravine means ‘a winter torrent’ or wadi, a dry riverbed through which water mainly flows during the winter rains. Kidron means ‘dusky’. And the word translated garden means a place planted with trees and herbs. Water turns to solid ice and ground becomes frozen during winter, because of the lack of warmth from the sun. Thus, some river of societal change is being crossed as a result of limited Teacher understanding during a period of winter, when liquid Mercy experience becomes frozen and turns into solid Perceiver truth. This emphasis upon the cold reappears later in the chapter, because two of Peter’s denials occur with him standing beside a charcoal fire, warming himself because it is cold. Turning now to the garden, earth planted with trees appeared on the third day of creation in Genesis 1. The six days of creation make cognitive sense as a description of six stages of civilization. The solid ground of earth represents rational thought. Trees are alive and they reproduce but they cannot move. Cognitively speaking, this describes practical skill and pragmatic knowledge that is passed on through training and apprenticeship. Rational skills are preserved and passed on from one generation to another, but there is no overall growth or general understanding.

Putting this all together, the verbal description of John 13-17 will now be put into practice, and the first step involves making a transition from words to pragmatic skill. When there is the sun of a general Teacher understanding, then it is natural for the words of science to be applied by the actions of technology. However, when Teacher understanding is limited, and truth is acquired as a set of frozen absolutes from the words of experts, then making the transition from speech to action requires going through some sort of rebirth, represented by crossing a river, just as crossing the Red Sea and crossing the Jordan River are symbols of personal rebirth.

Historically, this transition can be seen in the rise of the Benedictine order, around 550 AD. Benedictine monks did not practice the extreme asceticism of the earlier Egyptian monks, but rather spent part of their time doing physical labor and part of their time reading and praying, as summarized by their motto, ora et labora, which means pray and work. The elderly and the sick were taken care of, and the abbot was not regarded as an absolute leader, but rather was supposed to seek counsel from fellow monks. This was a major contrast from the latifundia of the Roman Empire, which were massive agricultural plantations run by slaves. It was also a major contrast from the thinking of Greek philosophy, which regarded thinking and school as something that was performed by men of leisure, as opposed to work and business, which was delegated as much as possible to slaves.

Judas enters the Garden 18:2-4

Incarnation combines the logical reasoning of abstract technical thought with the pragmatic action of concrete technical thought. Therefore, it makes sense that one would find incarnation in the garden: “Now Judas also, who was betraying Him, knew the place, for Jesus had often met there with His disciples” (v.2). It also makes sense for Judas to know this place because the shortcoming of Judas does not lie in integrating abstract and concrete technical thought, but rather in adding Teacher and Mercy emotions to technical thought. The word translated know is ‘seeing that becomes knowing’, which conveys the impression of empirical evidence. Thus, Judas is not approaching the garden as a place of emotional pleasure but rather as a source of empirical evidence for technical thought. In contrast, Jesus often met there with his disciples, and the word translated met means ‘gather together, collect, assemble, receive with hospitality, entertain’, which conveys a sense of pleasure and emotional sharing.

Judas, on the other hand, enters with a combination of limited lights and armed force: “Judas then, having received the [Roman] cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons” (v.3). As the NASB indicates, the word Roman is not in the original Greek, and the word cohort could refer to the Jewish Temple guard. The absence of Roman soldiers at this point is backed up the fact that Jesus was first taken to Annas. Presumably, Roman soldiers would not take a prisoner to Annas, because he had been deposed by the Romans in AD 15, while Jewish Temple guards would take a prisoner to Annas, because he still retained considerable power behind the scenes. The point is that the primary initial opposition to incarnation comes from the religious authorities and not the civil authorities. Pharisee means literally ‘separatist or purist’, and the Pharisees tried to become separate from normal existence by living a life that followed the religious rules of Judaism.

Looking at this cognitively, this describes the natural tendency for technical thought to become policed by experts who emphasize following rules in a rigorous—Pharisaical—manner that is distinct from normal existence. Such a policing is especially necessary when the light of Teacher understanding is limited, because knowledge will be divided into different schools of thought, each with its lanterns of Teacher understanding backed up by officially recognized experts who use some form of censure to maintain doctrinaire purity.

This will set into motion a chain of events that will eventually lead to salvation: “So Jesus, knowing all the things that were coming upon Him” (v.4). The name Jesus, of course, means salvation. Jesus does not try to shut down what is happening, but rather focuses upon motivation, saying “to them, ‘Whom do you seek?’” (v.4). The word seek means ‘To seek by inquiring; to search, getting to the bottom of a matter’. This describes the use of technical thought, but it also implies that this technical thinking is being motivated by some emotional goal. Thus, Jesus is trying to act as incarnation by extending technical thought to include underlying emotions and motivation.

Their answer indicates a focus upon pragmatic, non-religious thought: “They answered Him, ‘Jesus the Nazarene’” (v.5). They are not looking for Jesus the Christ, but simply Jesus, the human savior. And they want Jesus of Nazareth, a region that is distant from the religious center of Jerusalem. Jesus violates both of these focuses (foci?) by claiming oneness with the eternal God: “He said to them, ‘I am [He]’” (v.5). As the NASB points out, the word ‘He’ is not in the original Greek, which means that Jesus is claiming to be Jehovah, or I AM.

Scholasticism 18:5-6

The name Judas means praise, and John makes it clear that the praise of Judas has now shifted away from Jesus to Jewish authorities: “And Judas also, who was betraying Him, was standing with them” (v.5). Presumably, Judas initially gave praise to Jesus. However, he now stands with the invading authorities and is about to betray Jesus—which means ‘to deliver over with a sense of close personal involvement’. Looking at this cognitively, the Jewish authorities are not being honest about motivation. They say that they are seeking Jesus of Nazareth, but in fact Judas is standing with the authorities and their limited light of understanding—and not with Jesus. As a result, their searching fails: “So when He said to them, ‘I am [He],’ they drew back and fell to the ground” (v.6). As before, ‘He’ is not in the original Greek. In other words, they are overwhelmed by a concept of Jesus-as-God in Teacher thought. Looking at this cognitively, they are unable to handle the combination of technical thought and universal Teacher understanding.

Looking at this historically, one can see these traits in medieval scholasticism. Scholasticism began as an attempt to gather and catalog the writings of earlier experts: “Scholasticism above all was an unprecedented process of learning, literally a vast ‘scholastic’ enterprise that continued for several centuries. Since the existing material had to be ordered and made accessible to learning and teaching, the very prosaic labour and ‘schoolwork’ of organizing, sorting, and classifying materials inevitably acquired an unprecedented importance.” In other words, scholasticism claims to be using technical thought to gain understanding, but it is actually using technical thought to catalog the opinions of experts. Saying this symbolically, Judas is standing with the Pharisees and not with Jesus.

Scholasticism led to a juxtaposition between technical thought and a mystical concept of God. Quoting further from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Scholasticism on the whole, and by virtue of its basic approach, contained within itself the danger of an overestimation of rationality, which recurrently emerged throughout its history. On the other hand, there had been built in, from the beginning, a corrective and warning, which in fact kept the internal peril of rationalism within bounds, namely, the corrective exercised by the ‘negative theology’ of the so-called Pseudo-Dionysius… his writings exerted an inestimable influence for more than 1,000 years by virtue of the somewhat surreptitious quasi-canonical authority of their author, whose books were venerated, as has been said, ‘almost like the Bible itself.’… The main fact is that the unparalleled influence of the Areopagite writings preserved in the Latin West an idea, which otherwise could have been repressed and lost (since it cannot easily be coordinated with rationality)—that of a negative theology or philosophy that could act as a counter-poise against rationalism.”

Looking at this cognitively, the technical thinking of scholasticism is unable to dislodge mysticism because scholasticism believes that personal authority transcends knowledge. That is because technical thought is being used to analyze books, but these books are being accepted as sources of truth because they were written by authors who are given emotional status in Mercy thought. Thus, the personal status of the author transcends the factual content written by the author. As a result, medieval philosophy struggled with the relationship between universal concepts derived through logical reasoning and the character of a transcendent God.

Summarizing, scholasticism attempted to follow technical thought, but it fell down when faced with the concept of a universal God, declaring in mystical fashion that God transcends rational thought and that one can only say what God is not. This ‘negative theology’ had no scriptural background but rather was based in the writings of some obscure Syrian monk which were given almost as much veneration as the Bible itself. On the one hand, Judas was standing with the religious authorities, because scholasticism began by praising the works of accepted religious and academic authorities. But on the other hand, Judas was betraying Jesus, because the technical analysis of approved religious texts was accompanied by the irrationalism of mysticism. And we saw at the beginning of the Gospel of John that mysticism is the enemy of incarnation.

Birth of Science 18:7-11

Therefore, technical thought eventually had to regroup and refocus: “Therefore He again asked them, ‘Whom do you seek?’ And they said, ‘Jesus the Nazarene’” (v.7). This time, a split develops between objective and subjective: “Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am [He]; so if you seek Me, let these go their way’” (v.7-8). As before, technical thought comes into contact with a concept of God in Teacher thought: ‘I told you that I AM’. But we are not told this time that Judas is standing with the authorities. Instead, seeking incarnation becomes separated from being a follower of Jesus. Seeking incarnation becomes an objective search for universal Teacher understanding that ignores those who are following Jesus personally, letting them ‘go their way’. Jesus emphasizes that this is being done in order to preserve the followers of incarnation: “to fulfill the word which He spoke, ‘Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one’” (v.9). The word translated lost means to ‘fully destroy, cutting off entirely’. Thus, the intellectual pursuit of incarnation turns into objective science, while the personal following of incarnation eventually becomes ‘Jesus in your heart’. By separating the one from the other, both aspects are prevented from being cut off entirely.

However, this split has a lasting impact which is symbolized by the response of Peter: “Simon Peter then, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear; and the slave’s name was Malchus” (v.10). Simon means listening and Peter means rock. Thus, Simon Peter represents solid truth acquired through Teacher words. Ears are used to listen, and the right ear represents left hemisphere auditory thought. (So far, all of the references to left or right ear, eye, foot, or hand that I have examined in the New Testament make cognitive sense.) Putting this together, the personal followers of incarnation respond in a manner that causes mainstream intellectual thought to become incapable of using Teacher thought to analyze truth that is based in words. Saying this more simply, Christians will treat the Bible in a religious manner that will prevent secular scientific thought from taking the Bible seriously. This ‘cutting off of the right ear’ describes one of the primary distinctions between scholasticism and objective science. Scholasticism reveled in revealed texts, while science replaced written tomes with empirical evidence. (Luke adds that Jesus heals this ear (Luke 22:51), but this is not mentioned in the Gospel of John.) The name Malchus means ‘king’, which implies that this cutting off of written texts affects officially approved procedure. Jesus responds by telling Peter to stop attacking the authorities: “So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?’” (v.11). God the Father in Teacher thought is now guiding incarnation along a certain path—a cup of experience to drink. Earlier, Jesus told secular thought to leave the religious followers alone. Here, Jesus is telling the religious followers not to attack secular thought. That is because both are following different aspects of God’s plan for incarnation.

I am not suggesting that all objective scientists are Christians who will experience personal salvation. Instead, I am suggesting that the pursuit of understanding has become separated from the path of personal salvation. Those who pursue science will gain an understanding of the character of God, but they will not necessarily experience personal salvation. Similarly, those who follow Jesus personally will experience personal salvation, but they will not necessarily gain an understanding of the character of God.

This makes it possible to identify the various parties in the rest of the chapter. The religious leaders represent official academia, which pursues understanding but not personal transformation, while the followers of Jesus represent those who seek personal transformation but not necessarily rational understanding.

Objective Science and Incarnation 18:12-14

The goal of official academia is to control and restrict incarnation: “So the [Roman] cohort and the commander and the officers of the Jews, arrested Jesus and bound Him” (v.12). As was mentioned before, and is indicated by the NASB, the adjective ‘Roman’ is not the original text. Instead, one is dealing here with academic and religious authorities. The word translated arrest is curious, because it has two quite different meanings that both apply to the symbolic interpretation. It means ‘seize, apprehend, become pregnant’. Applied to the literal situation, the obvious meaning is seize or apprehend, because Jesus as being arrested. But the alternate meaning of becoming pregnant also makes sense if one thinks of the birth of science. Something new is gestating within the minds of technical thinkers, which will result in the birth of science. But what is about to come into existence is not a full-fledged concept of incarnation, but rather incarnation that is controlled and bound.

John says that Jesus is taken to Annas first, before being brought to Caiaphas: “and led Him to Annas first; for he was father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year” (v.13). The name Annas comes from the Hebrew and means ‘Jah has favored’. This implies the emergence of an understanding of God in Teacher thought. We saw earlier that scholasticism floundered when encountering God’s Jehovah name of I AM. In contrast, Jehovah is now favoring. Annas is described as the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest. Caiaphas is very similar to the name Cephas given to Simon Peter. (The linked paper explains the linguistic connection between Cephas and Caiaphas, but I think that it goes too far when it attempts to prove that Paul is referring to Caiaphas when he mentions Cephas in his epistles.) We encountered the name Cephas back in John 1:42 where Jesus says that he will call Simon Cephas, which means Peter, or rock. If Caiaphas is high priest ‘that year’, this implies a historical window of opportunity in which a search for Teacher understanding is accompanied by a focus upon solid facts in Perceiver thought.

Such a window of opportunity emerged historically during the Renaissance, at considerable personal cost. During this period, one third of Europe died in the Black Death, much of Europe went through a series of conflicts from 1337 to 1453 in the Hundred Years War, and the papacy itself became divided from 1309 to 1377 during the Avignon Papacy, when there were both popes and antipopes. This extended societal upheaval caused people to question existing authorities and look for new sources of truth. John reminds us in the next verse that societal progress will occur at considerable personal cost: “Now Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was expedient for one man to die on behalf of the people” (v.14). One can interpret this statement literally as a reference to the substitutionary punishment of Jesus, but it also seems to describe the personal suffering for the greater good that happened when intellectual thought became pregnant with the partial incarnation of scientific thought during the Renaissance.

One might ask why a loving God would follow a plan of history that involves the death of so many people. However, it is important to realize that at this point there was no choice. Science could have emerged in Alexandria before the time of Christ, but it did not. The development of science is an essential step in God’s cosmic plan. Therefore, God had to create a societal environment in which science had no choice but to emerge. That is because God respects free will, guiding individuals and society indirectly through core mental networks. Saying this more simply, plan A had failed; plan B could not fail. And so God orchestrated events so that Plan B would not fail.

God promises that he will eventually bring justice and make all things right. However, God does not promise that he will make everything right immediately. Instead, civilization must reach a certain stage of development before God can step in and truly make things right. The start of truly making things right begins at the end of Revelation 11, with the theoretical return of Jesus: “We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign. And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth” (Rev. 11:17-18). Notice that God has taken power and started to reign, making it possible for God to reward those who fear his name. One final point. God’s plan must succeed. That is the bottom line. Therefore, one cannot ask God to change his plan without providing an alternative. If one wishes God to treat humanity in a way that involves less personal suffering, then one must personally follow the plan of God to the extent that a better alternative emerges.

These principles are described in the last chapter of James. Verse 6 describes a world of injustice: “You have condemned and put to death the righteous man; he does not resist you.” Verse 7 points out the need for patience: “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord.” Verse 9 warns that justice is coming: “Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” And verse 11 promises that God will eventually have compassion on people: “We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” This sets the context for verses 16-18, which state that it is possible for a righteous person to have a significant impact upon the plan of God: “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.” More literally, the prayer of a righteous person has multitudinous embodied strength to ‘work in a situation to bring it from one stage to the next’. In other words, if the actions of a person are guided by an understanding of God, then God can use such a person to assist in carrying out steps in the divine plan. Ezekiel 22 describes what happens when there is no such person. As with James 5, the context is societal injustice: “The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice” (Ezekiel 22:29). God looks for a righteous human and finds no one: “I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one” (v.30). Therefore, God had no choice but to carry out a plan of personal suffering: “Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads,” declares the Lord GOD” (v.31).

Returning now to John 18, we have been looking symbolically at Jesus being brought before Annas in the year in which Caiaphas was high priest. Based upon the meanings of these names, this represents incarnation being brought before Teacher thought in a period during which Perceiver truth is respected. I have also suggested that a split emerges between secular thought, which interacts with incarnation theoretically in Teacher thought, and religious thought, which builds a personal relationship with incarnation in Mercy thought.

Personal Faith and Peter’s First Denial 18:15-18

John provides some specific details which make sense as a symbolic description of the relationship that develops between secular and religious thought: “Simon Peter was following Jesus, and so was another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter was standing at the door outside” (v.15-16). The general consensus is that ‘the other disciple’ refers to John, the writer of the Gospel of John. It is quite clear that John was a Mercy person, and we already know that Peter was a Perceiver person. If Simon Peter and John are following Jesus, then this means that the religious focus upon Jesus has primarily a Perceiver and a Mercy component. The Perceiver component is Simon Peter: solid truth that comes from listening to the word of God. Using Christian language, there is a focus upon studying the Bible. Accompanying Peter is ‘the other disciple’, implying that biblical study is accompanied by Mercy thought. Again using Christian language, biblical study is leading people to a personal relationship with Jesus. This combination describes the primary emphasis of the Protestant Reformation. But notice that Peter is following Jesus, who is in the house of Annas. Thus, the secular pursuit of incarnation is taking the lead, and religious thought is following. This relationship has characterized Protestant Christian thought. Those who follow incarnation personally like to think that they have an inside track to knowing God, but most of the progress comes from the secular pursuit of incarnation, which is then copied by the church.

When Peter and John try to follow Jesus ‘into the court of the high priest’, then John is able to enter but Peter gets left at the door. John gets in because the high priest knows him through personal experience. Cognitively speaking, the experiential side of religion fills the emotional vacuum left by the scientific pursuit of incarnation. In contrast, the doctrinal side of religion gets left outside, because science does not recognize Simon Peter; unlike scholasticism, science is based upon empirical evidence and not upon revealed texts. Instead, written revelation becomes acknowledged as a byproduct of religious experience: “So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter in” (v.16). Notice how the roles have changed. In verse 15, written revelation was following Jesus, which was accompanied by religious experience. In verse 16, religious experience becomes officially accepted and written revelation becomes acknowledged as the accompaniment to religious experience.

This is when Peter makes his first denial: “Then the slave-girl who kept the door said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’ He said, ‘I am not’” (v.17). The question is being asked by a girl, indicative of female thought. And the girl specifically asks Peter if he is a disciple of ‘this man’, whereas the next two questions simply ask Peter if he is a disciple ‘of him’. Peter’s first denial is straightforward. He simply states that he is not a disciple, whereas the next two times he explicitly denies being a disciple. Cognitively speaking, the first denial occurs at the level of mental networks, and is basically a decision to continue the mindset of scholasticism. Protestant thought is choosing to perpetuate the mindset of scholasticism with its focus upon personal authority and revealed texts, and to not identify with being a follower of incarnation in the house of Annas. Catholicism has followed a similar path, because medieval philosophical thought continues to be taught within Catholic academic circles. (Catholic academic thought may focus on how scholars used to think, but that is far better than the deconstructionism of today which questions all scholarly thought.)

Having entered the house, Peter does not focus upon Jesus, but rather finds himself mingling with the crowd: “Now the slaves and the officers were standing there, having made a charcoal fire, for it was cold and they were warming themselves; and Peter was also with them, standing and warming himself” (v.18). Looking at this literally, the court is actually an open courtyard in the middle of the house of Annas, and it was normal practice to keep a fire burning in the courtyard where people could stand and stay warm. Looking at this symbolically, one sees various characteristics of absolute truth. It is cold, representing a mindset in which Perceiver facts become solid because Perceiver thought is frozen. People are standing, indicating the static mindset of the conservative who is standing for ancient truth. A charcoal fire is actually ‘a fire of coals’, and coal is ancient life that has become turned into solid fuel, representative of ancient cultural MMNs that have become solidified. People are finding warmth in these ancient cultural MMNs, but this generating of warmth gradually consumes the coal. Similarly, the typical fundamentalist mindset finds emotional warmth in the experiences of ancient heroes as described in the Bible and other antique books. However, one can only derive so much excitement and motivation from long-dead experience before it becomes incapable of generating any more heat. Finally, notice that Peter is the follower and not the leader. Others have made the charcoal fire and are standing there in order to warm themselves, and Peter joins them. In other words, the objective progress of science causes a conservative mindset to emerge that wants to preserve the past, and religious pursuers of truth find themselves find themselves resonating with this conservative mindset.

Technical Thought and the Bible 18:19-24

The attention then turns to Jesus. Those who are seeking an abstract understanding of incarnation want to know more about following Jesus: “The high priest then questioned Jesus about His disciples, and about His teaching” (v.19). The word translated questioned does not mean to investigate but rather to ‘make a request from a preferred position’. In other words, scientific technical thought will think that it has an inside track to analyzing the teachings of incarnation. For instance, Isaac Newton, who probably played the greatest role in developing modern physics, also wrote extensively on theology. However, the approach that Newton took is precisely what Jesus warns against when questioned by the high priest: “Jesus answered him, ‘I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together; and I spoke nothing in secret’” (v.20). Newton in contrast, was convinced that the Bible contained a secret message. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Newton spent a great deal of time trying to discover hidden messages within the Bible. After 1690, Newton wrote a number of religious tracts dealing with the literal interpretation of the Bible. In a manuscript Newton wrote in 1704 he describes his attempts to extract scientific information from the Bible.” Newton’s search for secret religious knowledge was motivated by an attempt to apply scientific thought to religious content. In the words of Wikipedia, “In this conflict of ecclesiastical order and the liberating effects of scientific enquiry, he and others turned to the prisca in all the security of a classical civilization having been supposedly founded on bona fide insights. So, for them, the truth lay within the perception of reality attained by Pythagoras and communicated, supposedly in a secret way, to a specific circle of people.”

Summarizing, Jesus said that he had spoken openly to the world. Newton was convinced that Jesus had not spoken openly. Jesus said he always talked in public religious places to the general religious population. Newton, in contrast, believed that Jesus communicated in a secret way to an inside group of people. Why did Isaac Newton treat the Bible in this way? He was simply applying the same method that he used successfully to discover the laws of nature. Science approaches the order of the universe from a Teacher perspective. Similarly, “Newton saw a monotheistic God as the masterful creator whose existence could not be denied in the face of the grandeur of all creation.” But how does science discover this Teacher order? Scientific thought ignores common sense and uses technical thought to look for hidden universal laws within nature. Similarly, Newton ignored the common doctrine that was being taught in churches, and used technical methods such as numerology to search for hidden universal laws within the Bible.

In contrast, Jesus tells the high priest to stop questioning incarnation and question those who heard his message, because they have a ‘seeing that becomes knowing’ of what he has said: “Why do you question Me? Question those who have heard what I spoke to them; they know what I said” (v.21). When one is attempting to understand the natural world, then those who use technical thought have an inside track to the thinking of incarnation. It makes sense for them to ‘make an earnest request, especially by someone on special footing’. But when one is dealing with religious doctrine, then one needs to go beyond concepts to application, and beyond technical thinking to normal thought. Therefore, those who hear what incarnation says have the inside track to knowledge, because they have applied this knowledge and they have also translated this knowledge into normal life.

But those who pursue technical thought do not like their special status to be questioned: “When He had said this, one of the officers standing nearby struck Jesus, saying, ‘Is that the way You answer the high priest’” (v.22). Saying this more crudely, academia jealously guards its emotional status as the high priests of society, and it vigorously slaps down anyone who challenges this claim. Jesus responds by telling scientific thought to focus on the facts and not upon personal status: “Jesus answered him, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?’” (v.23). If the facts are wrong, then correct the facts. But if the facts are accurate, then why attack the messenger? In other words, scientific thought should apply the rational thinking which it claims to use and not descend to personal attacks. Notice that Jesus states this using the personal language of incarnation rather than the objective language of science: If I have spoken evil, then bear witness about the evil. But if I have spoken goodness, then why do you beat me?

Peter’s Second and Third Denials 18:25-27

This ends the interaction with Annas and Jesus is sent to Caiaphas. However, he is sent bound: “So Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest” (v.24). Looking at this cognitively, the focus of research changes from building theories in Teacher thought to gathering facts in Perceiver thought. The technical thinking of incarnation is alive, but it is not free to function independently. Saying this another way, the mindset of Judas has successfully brought incarnation under control, ensuring that technical thought functions in a ‘dignified’ fashion using rigorous thought—while ultimately remaining motivated by implicit childish emotions.

Meanwhile, Peter remains the conservative, standing for truth and trying to stay warm: “Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself” (v.25). He makes a second denial, this time in the context of Caiaphas: “So they said to him, ‘You are not also one of His disciples, are you?’ He denied it, and said, ‘I am not’” (v.25). As was mentioned earlier, the language of the second denial is similar to that of the first denial, but contains the following differences: The first question comes from a slave girl, while the second question comes impersonally from ‘them’. Similarly, the girl asks if Peter is a disciple of ‘this man’, while ‘they’ ask if Peter is a disciple of ‘him’. Thus, the second denial is more impersonal than the first one, consistent with a change in focus from Teacher understanding to Perceiver facts. Peter’s denial is also more explicit. Previously, he simply stated that he was not a disciple, while here he denies and says that he is not. In other words, Peter explicitly declares that he is not part of the scientific context of following incarnation in a factual manner, which is consistent with the description of the second denial that was given when looking at John 14.

The third denial is quite different than the previous two. Peter is recognized by a relative of the servant that he attacked in the garden: “One of the slaves of the high priest, being a relative of the one whose ear Peter cut off, said, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with Him?’” (v.26). I suggested that the cutting off of the servant’s left ear by Peter represents the end of the scholastic dependence upon revealed texts. If a relative of this person speaks up, this implies that a form of textual analysis that uses technical thought to analyze written texts is re-emerging. Peter is not asked if he is a disciple of Jesus. Instead, the servant points out that he saw Peter in the garden with Jesus. The word translated see means ‘see, often with metaphorical meaning: to see with the mind’. And we suggested earlier that a garden represents pragmatic rational thought. Thus, technical thought is analyzing religious texts and noticing that Christian belief is associated with rational thought. Peter responds to this with a general denial. In the second denial, Peter ‘denied and said I am not’. In the third denial, Peter merely ‘denies again’. Going further, the name Peter is explicitly mentioned in this third denial, whereas in the previous two denials refer to Peter as ‘he’, without mentioning his name. Thus, what matters the third time is not what Peter is denying, but rather the fact that Peter himself is repeating the attitude of denial. And he is not denying some person or specific set of facts, but rather denying in a general sense being connected with the garden of pragmatic rational thought. This accurately portrays today’s pursuit of spirituality without content, which denies that it is related to any rational content, including the pragmatic content of normal common sense.

Thus, my guess is that we have now arrived at the present time and that the rest of the Gospel of John deals symbolically with future events.

The rest of John 18 is discussed in the next essay on John 18-21.